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43 % of rural households in Telangana landless, says TSDR 2017

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-05-2017 Yunus Y. Lasania

Hyderabad: Nearly one-fifth of scheduled caste (SC) community in Telangana does not have access to ration cards, while a significant section of the lowest three deciles from the ‘poorest of the poor’ does not even have access to the Public Distribution System (PDS) commodities, said a new Telangana Social Development Report (TSDR) 2017, that was released on Friday evening. The TSDR also showed that four-fifths of state’s population has ration cards, out of which Below Poverty Level (BPL) cards account for 84.2% of the total.

The TSDR, which collected and analysed data from surveys conducted between 2011 and 2014 (from the Census and National Sample Survey Office), was released by the Department of Planning, Govt of Telangana and the Council for Social Development’s (CSD) southern regional centre, which was tasked to compile the report by the state government.

B.P. Acharya, special chief secretary, Planning Department, said that there was an acute dearth of data in the state, particularly in the social field.

“This study sets the agenda for social sector reforms in the state. The state government has been making efforts to re-orient policies in the social sector,” he said.

Kalpana Kannabiran, director, CSD, said that the report presents a statistical profile of the social sector in Telangana. The TSDR was prepared by the CSD taking data from the 10 districts prior to their reorganization (into 31 new districts in 2016).

According to the TSDR, between 2002 and 2012, 43.3 % of the total rural households were landless in Telangana, with the proportion remaining unchanged over the decade and about 75 % of operational land owned by the Scheduled Caste (SC) community was marginal, or just below one hectare.

The TSDR noted that 11 % of the youth in Telangana are not literate, as per data available between 2011 and 2012. Data also showed that except Hyderabad in which 26% of households have computers, other districts reported less than 10 %.

Analysis of the credit access in the state also shows that SCs and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in rural and urban areas borrow significant amounts for household expenditure, said the report. It also noted that money lenders still play a dominant role in addressing a little more than half or 50.6 % of the credit needs in Telangana, as institutional sources such as commercial banks reach only 16 % of households. The same for co-operative societies is just 9.3%, said the TSDR.

According to the TSDR, 61% (data from 2001-2011) of the people in Telangana reside in rural areas and 30% of the urban population resides in the capital Hyderabad alone. A worrying aspect found in the study was the declining sex ratio in the 0 to 6 age group, which fell from 957 to 933 during the decade. It was also surprisingly found that the more urbanized districts of Hyderabad (954), Mahbubnagar (977) and Ranga Reddy (961), had a lower sex ratio among all age groups, against the state’s number of 988.

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