Bihar’s caste-based economic report: Bhumihars emerge as neediest among Savarnas

| Updated: 07 November, 2023 4:54 pm IST

BIHAR :After the eagerly awaited caste census, Bihar has unveiled its highly anticipated economic report, which is founded on caste demographics. The Nitish Kumar-led government presented this report in the state legislature, offering insight into the levels of poverty prevalent among various caste groups.

In the report, the Bihar government categorised seven castes from both Hindu and Muslim communities as Savarnas. Remarkably, the findings of this report suggest that the Bhumihars are the most economically disadvantaged among the Savarnas.

The caste census report by the Nitish government identifies seven castes within the Savarna category. This comprises four Hindu castes: Brahmin, Bhumihar, Rajput, and Kayastha, alongside three Muslim castes: Sheikh, Sayyad, and Pathan. The government has conducted an economic assessment of these castes.

The government’s report reveals that the highest poverty rate among the general category, which encompasses Savarnas, is attributed to the Bhumihars. The government data indicates that 27.58 per cent of Bhumihars in Bihar are economically underprivileged. In the state, there are a total of 838,447 Bhumihar families, of which 231,211 are classified as impoverished.

Among Hindu Savarnas, Brahmins rank as the second most economically disadvantaged group. The government’s findings report that 25.32 per cent of Brahmin families in Bihar are living in poverty. Bihar is home to a total of 1,076,563 Brahmin families, with 272,576 among them facing economic hardship.

Rajputs come in third among the Savarnas in terms of poverty rates. According to the government’s report, 24.89 per cent of the Rajput population in Bihar experiences economic hardship. The state has a total of 853,447 Rajput families, of which 237,412 are classified as impoverished.

Conversely, Kayasthas emerge as the most affluent among the Savarnas. The government report indicates that only 13.83 per cent of Kayasthas in Bihar are living in poverty. There are a total of 170,985 Kayastha families in Bihar, with 23,639 of them considered economically disadvantaged.

The government has also analysed the economic status of three Muslim castes categorised as Savarnas: Sheikh, Pathan, and Sayyad. According to the government’s findings, 25.84 per cent of the Sheikh caste experiences economic hardship.

Bihar is home to a total of 1,038,888 Sheikh families, with 268,398 classified as impoverished. For the Pathan caste, 22.20 per cent of the families are grappling with poverty, while 17.61 per cent of Sayyad Muslim families are also considered economically disadvantaged, according to the government’s report.

The survey report discloses that a total of 2.76 crore families were enumerated in Bihar. Among them, 94.42 lakhs, which equates to 34.13 per cent, represent families who are facing economic hardships and struggling to make a living above the poverty line.

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