Socio-economic survey among forward communities in Kerala a non-starter

Bid to study issues faced by the section, recommend welfare measures

A socio-economic survey among forward communities in Kerala to assess the financial and social status of families remains a non-starter.

Though the State government had given administrative sanction for the survey nearly a year ago, funds have not been released for the project. The survey becomes relevant in the backdrop of the State government notifying the 164 forward communities of Kerala last week.

Incidentally, the term of the Commission for Economically Backward Classes among Forward Communities, which submitted the proposal for the survey, will expire in eight months.

Welfare measures

One of the mandates of the commission is to study the issues faced by the economically backward sections in the forward communities and recommend welfare measures for them. It is also expected to advise the government on planning steps for the socio-economic development of the forward communities and to evaluate the progress of their development in the State, pointed out sources.

A segment of the population from the forward communities, which is below the age of 35 years, would benefit from the 10% economic reservation by securing employment and admission to educational institutions. At the same time, a large number of elders in these communities, who are facing several socio-economic issues, needs support. The issues this population faces need to be scientifically identified for formulating the recommendations, they said.

One lakh persons

The survey plans to cover at least one lakh persons of the communities. The proposal is to identify the five most economically backward families in the 19,000 wards of the local bodies in the State in a representational manner with the help of the civic representatives. A questionnaire with around 100 questions was also framed for the purpose. It would require ₹83.36 lakh for the survey, which includes the expense for training the volunteers to use the software developed for the project. Despite repeated reminders, funds had not been released, sources said.

Responding to the developments, a senior government official said the file was forwarded to the Finance Department for clearance. The model code of conduct, which was in force, had also delayed the process, he said.

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