Voices From India’s Poorest District: Bolangir
asked GFK Mode to do a survey of this perpetually cursed, drought-prone Bolangir district in Orissa. Twenty villages with a population of over 200 were selected. Touchingly, more than half of them think the government is doing enough to improve their lives.An eye opener for so many of us who have so much and yet are unfulfilled, unsatisfied and always want more.

Do you think the government’s welfare schemes actually work?
They are riddled with corruption 63
Yes, they work 35

Do you think the government policies are helping the rich more than the poor?
No 56
Yes 42

Have the prices of daily commodities increased a lot in the last year?
Yes, to some extent 33
Yes, to a great extent 66

In times of crises, like drought, did you get any help from the government?
No 82
Yes 18

Is the government doing enough to improve your life?
No 47
Yes 52

What is the one thing you want the government to do to radically change your life?
Ensure employment 15
Improve infrastructure and health services 3
High government subsidies 3
Help in agriculture 32
Higher and cheaper loans 47

Have you ever participated in a government scheme?
No 20
Yes 80

Do you think the schemes help/have helped in improving your life?

Those who have participated in government schemes:

Helped/will help to a great extent 13
Helped to some extent 86

Those who have never participated:

Helped/will help to a great extent 15
Will help to some extent



How many days in a month are you employed?*
Less than 14 days 3
21-28 days 31
14-20 days 66
*Those who don’t own farm land

Asked to persons who are aware of government-initiated employment generation schemes

Have you ever tried getting work through state job schemes?

No 50.6
Yes 49.4

If yes, have you worked under such schemes?

No 65.1
Yes 34.9

What is your monthly household income?
Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,999 3
More than Rs 7,000 2
Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,999 37
Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,999 58

What is the mode of payment in your remuneration?
Cooked food 3
Food Grains 23
Cash 74

Does your child go to school?

6-13 yrs

14-18 yrs 19-22 yrs
Yes 91 35 11
No 9 65 89

Does your child get mid-day meals in school?
Base: Children who go to school

6-13 yrs

14-18 yrs
Yes, gets it daily 82 19
Yes, but not daily 4 0
Never gets its 7 75
DK/CS 7 6

What is your main source for drinking water?
Dirty water 11
Clean water 89

Is there a toilet in your house?
Yes 4
No 96

How far is the nearest primary healthcare centre for you?
18-20 km 10
12-13 km 30
10-11 km 10
2-5 km 25
6-9 km 25

What healthcare facilities are available in your village?
Untrained dai 100
Quack/ kaviraj, doctor 80
Trained dai 60
Auxiliary nurse, midwife 30
Homeopathic doctor 10
Ayurvedic doctor 5

Methodology: In each village, 10 eligible respondents were selected and interviewed ensuring geographical dispersion. The total sample was 201. The study was carried amongst adults of age group 20-45 years. Male-female ratio of 60:40 was maintained. It was conducted with the help of a close-ended questionnaire. All the interviews were conducted in Oriya.