Agricultural labourers do not get even two square meals a day, reveals NSSO survey

About one per cent rural households do not get enough food throughout the year

 
By Jitendra
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Agricultural labourers in rural areas are the most food-deprived lot in the country. The 66th round of survey by the National Survey Sample Organisation (NSSO), released recently, states the percentage of agricultural labourers who do not get even two square meals a day during some months is more than twice that of rural households. The percentage is thrice more when figures of rural households not getting food throughout the year are considered.

While the number of vulnerable population has dropped drastically with the number of urban destitute number reaching zero, almost one per cent of rural households do not get two squares meals a day throughout the year.

Lean food period

States

Months

West Bengal, Odisha

January, February

Assam

February, March

Chhatisgarh

March

Manipur

December to April

Arunachal Pradesh

November to February

Tripura

December

Bihar, Goa, Nagaland

Almost the whole year

 
According to NSSO, the survey reveals that the gap between rural and urban households which do not get adequate food has narrowed since 1993-94. The percentage of rural households which get two square meals a day has increased from 94.5 per cent to 99 per cent, and that of urban households from 98 per cent to 99.6 per cent. The survey was conducted in 2009-10.

The country’s two most vulnerable states—Odisha and West Bengal—have a substantial number of households that do not get two square meals in a day. If one considers categories of social groups, Scheduled Castes in rural areas and urban areas, and Scheduled Tribes in rural areas are the most vulnerable. Food for them is inadequate most in January and February. The proportion of rural households not getting two square meals a day has dropped from 0.9 per cent to 0.2 per cent. The proportion of urban households has dropped from 0.5 per cent to nil.

The report states the population which does not get two square meals a day in some months has fallen from 4.2 per cent to 0.9 per cent in rural areas and from 1.1 per cent to 0.3 per cent in urban areas. In rural areas of states with greater population, 2.1 per cent of the households do not get adequate food throughout the year. This percentage is higher in West Bengal (4.6 per cent) and Odisha (4 per cent), followed by Assam, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

The most vulnerable

According to the report, the most vulnerable group comprises agricultural labourers. The percentage of agricultural labourers' households not getting enough food throughout the year is 0.6 per cent. It is highest in Maharashtra and West Bengal, followed by Bihar, Odisha and Assam. Agricultural labourers' households not getting enough food throughout the year is 12 per cent in Manipur, 10 per cent in Odisha, 6.3 per cent in West Bengal and six per cent in Tripura. Other states that have a large proportion of such households are Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Bihar.

In rural India, 1.9 per cent of the agricultural labourers do not get enough food in some months of the year and 0.2 per cent do not get enough food throughout the year. In urban India, only 0.6 per cent of the population does not get adequate food in some months of the year.

In rural areas, 1.8 per cent of Schedule Tribes, 1.3 per cent of Schedule Castes and 0.4 per cent of Other Backward Castes do not get enough food in some months of the year. The condition of Scheduled Castes is as noticeable (0.8 per cent) in urban areas as well. It was the highest for any urban social group. The population of Scheduled Castes not getting enough food in some months of a year is high in West Bengal (9.8 per cent), Odisha (9 per cent), followed by Karnataka (1.7 per cent). West Bengal (4 per cent) and Odisha (3.7 per cent) also have considerable number of Scheduled Castes not getting enough food in some months of a year. Bihar (2 per cent), Chhattisgarh (1.9 per cent), Assam (1.6 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (1.3 per cent) and Maharashtra (1.1) follow.
 

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  • Shrinkage of farm size and

    Shrinkage of farm size and uneconomic farm economics are largely responsible.in some districts in Andhra Pradesh fertile lands are converted in to fish ponds and neighbouring farm holders are getting less yields due to salinity ingress of fish ponds. government has to examine this tragedy.
    rajagopal

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply