The state government has filed an affidavit in our NFSA PIL that provides dates of ‘publishing of SECC draft list’ for all the districts of Maharashtra. The initiative was supposed to begin in all districts of the state by 10th December, 2014. The data collected through this methodology will later be analysed using the Saxena Committee methodology to identify beneficiaries under several key programmes of the Government such as Food Security Act, Shahari Rozgar Yojana, Livelihood missions, Gharkool, etc. Earlier the Food rights activists under the aegis of the Anna Adhikar Abhiyan had written to former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan highlighting the inadequacies in the implementation of the Right to Food Act in the state.
Even though 27 days has passed but the state government is yet to publish the draft list. For transparency and to improve the data quality, it is essential that the published list undergoes close scrutiny from the citizens. Hence upon publishing, it is the duty of the administration to inform the people to scrutinise and invite ‘claims and objections’.
The door to door enumeration under Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) was completed by October 2013 but the draft list was not published. The Hon’ble High Court demanded to know from the Government the progress achieved in the SECC.
All district Collectors and Zilla Parishad CEOs have been directed by the various Departments and Directorates to publish draft lists and call for Claims and Objections. The progress of raising objections will conclude in 82 days.
SECC norms require certain steps to be followed once draft list is published:
1. The draft list should be displayed at Gram Panchayats, Block Development Office and District Collector’s Office.
2. Within a week of list being published, Gramsabhas must be held and the list should be read out.
Similarly, in urban areas the list will have to be displayed at Municipal wards.
Mohammad Siraj, President, Movement for Peace and Justice Maharashtra said, “How will everyone be aware about such an important exercise being undertaken, especially the vulnerable sections who need to be included in the welfare measures?
Shabbir Deshmukh President, Movement for Peace & Justice, Mumbai said, “What is the process of raising objections? How to validate the data of people who are homeless?
They demanded that the State Government should comply with its own affidavit and GRs by immediately publishing the SECC draft list. They urged the media to educate the people of Maharashtra to verify the data collected about them.
Speaking about Muslim reservation, Mohammad Siraj said the BJP-led government at the centre and state cannot deprive Muslims from their basic rights for long.
“Be it a matter of reservation or providing other facilities, the government will have to give priority to interests of the Muslims if it wants the country to prosper,” he said.