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In Gogoi's 'developed' Assam, rural employment gloomy

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 July 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Only 12.27 per cent rural families have salaried member, farming feeds less than one-third village households, casual labour and low incomes the norm, many resort to begging

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, July 3: 'Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you've fed him for a lifetime.' But such words of wisdom seem to have no takers within the Congress-led governments in power in Assam for 14 consecutive years.

The socio-economic and caste census (SECC) 2011 released on Friday, has painted a grim picture of employment in rural Assam.

Only 12.27 per cent of the households in rural Assam have a member with a salaried job. The State is ranked 22nd in this criteria.

However, 70.73 per cent of the salaried persons in rural Assam have an income of less than Rs 5,000. The percentage of employed people in rural Assam earning between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 is 18.2 percent.

Even though the State boasts of an agrarian economy, only 29.18 per cent households in rural areas depend on farming as a source of income.

Worse, 42.58 per cent of the households depend on manual/casual labour for livelihood, while 5.05 per cent earn from domestic service, either part time or full time.

What is more worrying is that 0.7 per cent of the households depend on begging/charity or alms for their daily bread. In this category, Assam is second in the list, behind West Bengal (1.26 per cent).

Only 1.55 per cent of the people in rural Assam depend on their individual enterprise (non-agricultural) for livelihood.

Despite the pathetic economic scerio in rural Assam, the State government seems to be more interested in election-centric schemes involving distribution of cash and other materials to 'beneficiaries.' It is evident from the picture of rural Assam painted by the census that very little has been done to create livelihood opportunities for the people, particularly the youths.

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