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Govt sponsored report exposes the hell Malegaonians are living in

Less scope for living, more for death. TISS reveals all in its Malegaon Report

Wednesday February 29, 2012 10:54:19 AM, Aleem Faizee,



Malegaon: More destitute, more illiterate, closer to death, denied of basic amenities, devoid of adequate health facilities, without proper banking services, facing police high-handedness and almost zilch job offers. Exactly five years after the Sachar Committee revealed in 2006 similar findings about the Indian Muslims, a govt sponsored report laid bare the shoddy state and inhuman condition the Malegaonians – the people in Malegaon, the Muslim dominated town of North Maharashtra are living in.

Written by Dr Abdul Shaban, an Associate Professor at the Centre for Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai, the 221 pages report was commissioned in January 2010 to TISS Mumbai by Minorities Development Department, Govt of Maharashtra and State Minorities Commission. After a year of labour, TISS submitted it to the Minorities Commission on December 20, 2011.

Bitter Truth

• Male Population: 239,243
• Female Population: 231,763
• Children (0-6): 74,494
• Below poverty line: 56.5 %
• Average household size: 7.2
• People living in slums: 76%
• Attending educational institution ( below 15 yrs of age): 67.80%
• Attending educational institution (15-30): 20.90%
• Average monthly income: Less than Rs. 911/-
• Per capita income of 1/3rd population: Less than Rs. 500

The report aimed at studying the socio-economic and infrastructural situation in Malegaon, and preparing a Multi-Sectoral Development Plan for the town, clearly sates that if suitable measures are not initiated even now the town which has already been ‘ghettoised beyond control’ would be pushed further deep into what seems to be a ‘living hell’ already.

Stating that about 76% families live either in dilapidated wood/tin houses or in huts with iron/wooden pillar and tin/plastic roofs with most of the lanes and roads remaining water logged and full of potholes/ditches, the report riddled with data and tables observes, in comparison to other towns of similar size, Malegaon is very underdeveloped, both economically as well as infrastructure-wise forcing majority of its population to live in slums and dilapidated small houses.


“A large part of Malegaon looks like any slum in Mumbai in terms of its make up, congestion, and in fact even worst than that", it says.

Exposing the dearth of basic amenities, the report says, public toilets in considerable part of the city are either not available or are in unusable condition.


“Contrary to the claims made by local authorities, public toilets are conspicuously absent in the town and particularly in Muslim concentrated areas. At many places they are in unusable condition and have even become threat to public health because of their un-cleanliness”, it says.


About inadequate water supply in the town, the report says, the supply of water to the residents of Malegaon is very erratic and unreliable.


"In most part of the city water comes on tap only on alternate days and in summer the gap can be even of three-days to a week", it observes.


Observing that many areas of the city are still unserved by the street lighting, the reports says, the roads and streets remain water logged during rainy seasons and create additional inconvenience in the absence of proper lighting.

'Poor working conditions'


Total schools surveyed (Urdu/Marathi): 80/6
• Student-Teacher ratio: 44:1/52:1
• Average no. of rooms available per school: 6/7
• Schools with drinking water: 24/4
• Schools with boys' toilet: 9/3
• Schools with girls' toilet: 8/3
• Schools with electricity: 23/1
• Schools with playground: 39/3

Revealing the stark condition under which the people are working in powerloom industry, the report says that the work condition by and large is characterised by long hours of work in deafening sound of looms, no proper ventilation and basic civic amenities, informal nature of work and low wages.


“Yet, due to the absence of alternate job opportunities people are forced to work under such a condition and in return to wages as low as Rs. 26 per day", it says.

Analysing the share of Muslim youths in government jobs, the report says, there is almost total absence of Muslims in Administrative Govt. Employee grade 'A ' jobs, while in Grade ‘B’ their representation is a miniscule 0.1 per cent.


“Thus, the limited clerical jobs and teaching seem to be the only avenues for employment for educated Muslim youth of Malegaon”, it says.


"This only shows that Muslims suffer even lower access to the casual employment, and regular public employment remains a dream for them", the report says.

About the communal infighting that plagued the city for decades, the report, while observing that a larger share of population from both the communities still remains integrated, questioned the role of police during the riots.


Stating that Muslims feel police remain obsessed to trouble and punish them harshly even at the slightest provocation, the report observes, “They also feel that Police has been responsible for worsening of many riots in the city as they started killing Muslims and looting their houses and shops instead of preventing the damage due to riots.”


'Women, Children at risk'

Literacy Level

• Illiterate: 10.91 %
• Below primary: 05.36%
• Primary: 17.21%
• Middle: 33.65%
• Secondary: 17.13%
• Higher secondary: 08.83%
• Graduate (Arts & Commerce): 04.57%
• Graduate (Engineering &Tech.): 0.59%
• Graduate (Medicine): 0.09%
• Post-Graduate & above: 0.81%
• Hafiz/Qari: 0.84%

The report though terms the entire population of Malegaon vulnerable to dangers arising out of the existing socio-economic, civic and educational crisis, it has some startling data to show how women and children are affected due to rampant poverty besides lack of amenities.

Stating that about 45.4 per cent of the total recorded deaths among Muslims have been of children below 5 years of age, the report directly links the increasing child mortality rate to poverty.


It states that almost about 90 per cent of death of infants below 1 month, 50% of deaths in the age group of 2-12 months and majority of deaths in the age group of 6-14 years is due to underweight and malnutrition.


“It clearly shows that access to nutritious food is still a far-fetched dream for the vast majority of would-be-mothers”, the report observes.

Stating that a sizeable population of about 57% of the total lives below poverty line, the reports says that due to rampant poverty a large number of children work to support their families in the town rather than attend educational institutions.


“In fact, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that there is hardly any type of work in the town where children cannot be found", it says.

'Schools worst'

About the poor condition of the municipal schools the report observes, besides improper access road, in many schools there are no compound gates and animals like cows and dogs wander even in classrooms.


“Worse, there are people who defecate and urinate in school compounds in the night times”, the report observes.

Detailing the lack of resources and basic requirements in schools, the report says that most of the schools are lacking in sufficient staff, benches, drinking water and electricity.


"There is an extreme lack of infrastructural facilities among schools and colleges and specifically in Municipal schools", it says.


“The most astonishing fact is that even the girl-schools do not have toilet and drinking water facilities", the TISS report says while also analyzing the impact of the extremely bad condition of schools on students especially the girls.


A condensed form of the above report appeared in The Time of India, Mumbai/Nashik print edition on Thursday, February 23, 2012.









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