In another four months, the Delhi government will have a vast repository of data — encompassing 63 parameters ranging from caste, income levels to mental illnesses — as part of a major socio-economic survey which began on November 10.
The survey — which was conceived after the starvation deaths of three girls in east Delhi’s Mandawali — has covered 26,000 households and 1.12 lakh persons till December 3. In total, around 1.90 crore individuals in over 40 lakh households will be surveyed.
The aforementioned parameters will cover areas relating to education, health, income, socio-economic vulnerability and modes of transport taken by people, among others, a top official said.
The planning department has deployed around 400 surveyors so far. Another 600 are being trained and will be deployed shortly. Hired through an agency, surveyors are being paid Rs 25 for surveying one individual and are supervised by 17 teams headed by senior officials.
Survey seeks to add new dimension to data collection
The ongoing socio-economic survey by the Delhi government has been touted as the biggest ever in terms of scale. Currently, the statistics available with the government are mostly products of sample surveys, like the one conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), which is in its 76th round. Also, individual departments collate data, but it does not always reflect the ground reality. For example, the education department’s statistics on dropout rates will be based on feedback from schools. But the actual rate may be higher, which will become clear only when each and every household is accounted for.
“The surveyors have unique IDs… They collect data and store them digitally. Their numbers have been integrated with a dashboard, which is being updated on a real-time basis…,” the official said. The total cost of the door-to-door survey has been pegged at around Rs 50 crore. Each surveyor will cover around five ‘enumeration blocks’ or 100-120 households.
Every individual is expected to share details — the owner of the house or the tenant, average income and monthly expenditure, ration card number, water and power consumption details, education and occupational details, among others.
For the first time, a bank will be developed for chronic illnesses like cancer, AIDS, TB etc, wherein people will be asked whether they are choosing government or private hospitals and if they have a health insurance.
Questions on period of residency and place of origin will also throw up data on migration patterns, while those on modes of travel will help government assess the transportations needs of people, the official said.
“Surveyors are facing some resistance in a few areas. The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister have issued appeals through print and audio-visual media, seeking cooperation of people. We expect to wrap up the survey in another four months as the initial teething problems are being sorted out,” another official said.