# Two lakh children remain “out of school”, including 64,813 due to “financial constraints”.
# Over six lakh between 0-6 years are outside the net of anganwadis, which cover less than half of Delhi’s pregnant women.
# Over 63% people use buses for commuting, while only 6% depend on the flagship Delhi Metro.
# As many as 42.59% households in the city spend less than Rs 10,000 per month, nearly 80% do not own computers, and 29% do not have access to tap water within households. Almost all households have toilets.
# Nearly three-fourth of the population depends on government facilities; of the 2.60% who suffer from chronic illnesses, most have diabetes.
# Around one-fourth of the children in the age group 0-5 years have not received any vaccination.
These are among the findings of a Delhi government survey, the biggest of its kind, covering 1.02 crore people, conducted between November 2018 and November 2019. The report, finalised in November 2020, reveals the socio-economic composition of the city, including details on religion, caste, income, education, chronic illnesses, status of vaccination, employment and preferred modes of transport.
The survey had been ordered following deaths of three minor girls of suspected starvation in East Delhi’s Mandawali in July 2018. The family did not have a ration card, and a government probe found that the local anganwadi centre had fudged records after the deaths.
As per the 2011 Census, Delhi has a population of 1.67 crore.
Conducted by over 6,000 field workers using a mobile app connected with a central database, the survey’s most revealing findings concern education and early childhood development. They show that 2,21,694 children between the ages of 6 and 17 (or 9.76% of total) were out of the school system, including 1,31,584 who had dropped out and 90,110 who had never attended school.
“The predominant reason for not attending school in the age group of 6-17 years is reported as financial constraint (29.2%),” the survey report says. As many as 13.50% were “engaged in domestic duties”, 12.17% gave “desired education level achieved” as the reason, while 9.37% were said to be “engaged in economic activities”.
Of the total population of Delhi, 11.04% comprised children in the age group of 0-6 years, of whom just over half (55.40%) attended anganwadi centres. Among pregnant women aged 18 years and above, 47.15% were found to be attending these centres, run under the Integrated Child Development Services programme of the government.
The survey found that 47.31% households in Delhi spent Rs 10,000-Rs 25,000 every month, while 42.5% incurred a monthly expenditure of Rs 10,000 or below. The share of those spending Rs 25,000-Rs 50,000 stood at 8.44%, and only 1.66% households spent over Rs 50,000 per month. The per capita income of Delhi was Rs 3.89 lakh in 2019-20 (or over Rs 32,000 a month) — about three times the national average.
A little over 21% of the 20.05 lakh households surveyed used desktops or laptops. Of these, 80.15% had Internet connection.
The survey also found that as much as 72.87% of the city’s population availed treatment at government hospitals and dispensaries, with the remaining dependent on private facilities.
Around 2.60% of the city’s total population was found to be “suffering from some kind of chronic illness”, and of them, 36.33% had diabetes (43.34% in Central district), followed by 21.75% with cardiac illnesses (including hypertension and blood circulatory disease) and 9.17% had respiratory diseases.
In another significant finding, as the coronavirus vaccination drive begins Friday, the survey found that nearly one-fourth of the children in the age group 0-5 years had not received nor were receiving vaccination — those who were covered comprised 77.54%. In terms of absolute numbers, out of 9.5 lakh children falling in the 0-5 age bracket, 2.13 lakh had not received vaccination.
On availability of water, the survey found that only 37.75% people in the South East district had access within their household premises, as opposed to 90% in Shahdara district. The city’s overall average was 70.98%. About 43.28% of the 1.86 lakh households in the South East district depended on bottled water, with the overall share being 7.76% in the total population. Of the total, 1.01 lakh households depended on tankers.
Of the 20.5 lakh households, 18.7 lakh had toilets, 1.22 lakh depended on community toilets and 11,497 figured under the open defecation category.
The preface to the report of the survey, executed at a cost of Rs 26.61 crore, says previous sample surveys were unable to depict real-time picture of requirements vis-à-vis availability of infrastructure and social security. “It was also felt by Delhi Government that due to lack of baseline data on various socio economic indicators in respect of Households/Individuals of Delhi, a great deal of difficulty is being faced by different departments of Government of NCT of Delhi for policy formulation and implementation of schemes… It is expected that the data generated in this report will provide necessary information to policy makers, researchers and Government.”
The three girls whose deaths prompted the survey lived in a one-room tenement in the catchment area of Anganwadi No.62 of Mandawali. A government investigation had found that officials had added their names in the records of the local anganwadi after their deaths.
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