64,000 extremely poor families in Kerala, Malappuram has largest number: LSG survey

A tribal hamlet in Attappady
A tribal hamlet in Attappady. File Photo: Manorama/Rinku Raj

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has 64,006 extremely poor families, accounting for 0.64 per cent of the total population, a survey has revealed.

The door-to-door extreme poverty survey carried out by the Local Self-Government Department also found 1,735 families without facilities or unable to cook food despite the State government providing food kits and free ration.

The State also has 1,622 families with bedridden members, suffering from cancer and other terminal diseases.

SC/STs hit the hardest

The survey, India's first, was conducted in a bid to alleviate extreme poverty in Kerala. Enumerators looked at the vulnerable communities, such as SC/STs, coastal population, physically and mentally challenged, those unable to work, and families without their primary breadwinners (either dead of abandoned).

Of the 64,006 extremely poor families, 43,850 have only single members. The survey also found 12,763 scheduled caste and 3,021 scheduled tribe families, and 2,737 coastal families living in extremely poor conditions.

Additionally, 4,021 families with transgenders and HIV patients, too, are extremely poor.

Representational image

Kottayam has least number of extremely poor

Malappuram district has the highest number of extremely poor families (8,553), followed by Thiruvananthapuram with 7,278.

While considering the average of all districts, Wayanad topped with 1.24 per cent. Kottayam has the least number of extremely poor families (1,071).

A tribal hamlet in Attappady. File Photo: Manorama/Rinku Raj
A tribal hamlet in Attappady. File Photo: Manorama/Rinku Raj

Read more: There is virtually everything on the menu for tribals in Attappady, except nutrition

Survey focused on health, living conditions

The survey, initiated in 2002 to ensure a hunger-free Kerala, was conducted based on the income, but the latest one looked into the health and living conditions, besides other criteria.

It also looked for families without food, those unable to or lacking cooking facilities, street dwellers, extremely low-income groups, those unable to work, families living in natural calamity-prone areas and near garbage dumps.

As many as 1.54 lakh people included in the Ashraya scheme, an integrated project aimed at the identification and rehabilitation of destitute families, were excluded from the survey.

Projects galore, but Attappady tribes' food crisis remain a reality
Women sit around and chat at Edavani ooru of Attappady. Photo: Manorama/Kumar

Information gathered by enumerators were super-checked at the district level. The list was published after receiving the approval of village and ward committees, and local self-government bodies.

Micro plans to be drawn up

Based on the survey, micro plans will be drawn up and implemented for each family. The State government has earmarked Rs 100 crore in the Budget for the preliminary works aimed at alleviating extreme poverty.

The list was finalised after the following process:

•Extremely poor families found after focus group discussions: 1,18,326

•Sub-committee approved families: 87,158

•Pre-enumerated families: 87,158

•Enumerated families: 87,158

•Super-checked families: 17,265

•Families in priority list: 73,747

•Families included in the final list after getting the approval of village committees: 64,006 (0.64%)

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