The rural development department of Haryana has been amazed at the high number of households with primitive tribal groups, manual scavengers and legally released bonded labourers thrown up by the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC).
According to the census information circulated among all district headquarters, in rural Haryana there are 72,066 households with primitive tribal groups, 69,864 households with manual scavengers and 80,461 households with legally released bonded labourers.
According to instructions, the households with primitive tribal groups, legally released bonded labourers and manual scavengers will be directly included in the below poverty line.
In the census, there were separate questionnaires for rural and urban areas. Only for rural areas, the questions regarding being from a primitive tribal group, manual scavenger and legally released bonded labourer were asked.
According to the census manual, primitive tribal groups (PTGs) are those regarded poorest of the poor among STs and are identified as those using "pre-agricultural level of technology", "very low literacy level" and "stagnant population".
The census has identified 22,329 households with primitive tribal groups in rural Sirsa, which is highest in the state. It is followed by rural Rohtak with 15,168 households and rural Kurukshetra with 6,892 such households.
"No primitive tribal group exists in Haryana at all," said VK Babbar, deputy director, Haryana Census.
According to the census manual, "bonded labour" means forced or partly forced labour under which a debtor enters into an agreement to render services to the creditor either without wages or on nominal wages. If the wages are lesser than minimum wages, it is considered as forced labour. The figures here are also surprising.
The highest number of households with legally released bonded labourers has been found in rural Sirsa at 17,416. It is followed by rural Kaithal, with 9,449 households and rural Rohtak with a figure of 7,181.
Manual scavenger is a person engaged in manually cleaning, carrying or disposing of or dealing in any other manner with human excreta in an individual or dry latrine. According to the census findings, the rural Sirsa has 13,443 households with manual scavengers, which is highest, followed by rural Kaithal with a figure of 6,767 and rural Mahendargarh at 5,721. Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's home district Rohtak has 5,527 households with manual scavengers in its rural area.
"These three aspects of high number of primitive tribal groups, manual scavengers and legally released bonded labourers are worrisome. There are no primitive tribal groups in Haryana. The number of manual scavengers is also quite low as also reported by the Census-2011. We have asked all deputy commissioners to get these figures checked before publishing of the final lists," said P Raghavendra Rao, financial commissioner, rural development department.
The lists will be put up in panchayat wards, offices of zila parishad and block development and panchayat offices for inviting claims and objections regarding the findings.