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More than a third of families in Bihar surviving on Rs 6k per month or less, assembly told
The report also acknowledged considerable poverty among the upper castes, though the percentage was, predictably, much higher among backward classes, Dalit and tribal people
More than a third of families inhabiting Bihar were living in poverty, making do with a monthly income of Rs 6,000 or less, according to a detailed report of the caste survey tabled in the state assembly on Tuesday.
The report also acknowledged considerable poverty among the upper castes, though the percentage was, predictably, much higher among backward classes, Dalits and tribals.
As per the report, tabled by parliamentary affairs minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, the state was home to about 2.97 crore families, out of which more than 94 lakhs (34.13 per cent) were poor.
Another important finding was that more than 50 lakh Biharis were living outside the state in search of livelihood or better education opportunities.
Those earning a living in other states numbered around 46 lakhs while another 2.17 lakhs have found greener pastures abroad.
Those pursuing studies in other states numbered about 5.52 lakhs while about 27,000 were doing the same abroad.
Notably, preliminary findings of the caste survey were released on 2 October.
The Nitish Kumar government ordered the exercise following the Centre's reluctance to hold a caste census.
The preliminary findings had established that OBCs and Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs) constituted more than 60 per cent of the state's total population, while the upper castes accounted for about 10 per cent.
The details tabled in the assembly showed that the rate of poverty among the upper castes, at more than 25 per cent, was quite pronounced.
The most well-off Hindu upper caste were the numerically miniscule Kayasthas. Only 13.83 per cent of families from the largely urbanised community were poor.
The poverty ratio was surprisingly high for the Bhumihars (27.58), believed to be the biggest land-owning caste of Bihar, who also dominated the state's politics until the Mandal wave of the 1990s threw up a new power structure.