first_imgThe Marathas got a score of 21.5 points out of 25 as per the criteria set by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (SBCC) while deciding the scale of backwardness of the community. Of the seven points listed under the economic condition, the report gave six. On the social and educational backwardness, SBCC gave 7.5 and 8 points out of 10 and 8 respectively.In the course of preparing the report, the Commission held 21 public hearings where it received 1,93,651 individual applications, 814 from organisations and 784 grampanchayats sent 282 resolutions. A total of 196 applications were also received from elected representatives.The report states that while the Maratha community comprises 30% of the total population in the State, the percentage of Marathas in government and semi-government services is inadequate (Box 1). The community has a mere 6.92% representation in Indian Administrative Services, 15.92% in Indian Police Service and 7.87% in Indian Forest Services.The report states, “Miniscule percentage of Marathas in technical, medical, agriculture, commerce and other branches of university shows the community’s social incapability, financial and educational weakness.” (Box 2)Social backwardnessAs per the survey carried out by the Commission, 76.86% Maratha families are dependant on farming and agricultural labour for survival, way more than other castes in the State. The Maratha community which has migrated to urban areas is largely involved in physical work such as porters, domestic workers. It has less representation in trade and commerce. “Agriculture has a 13% share in the State’s GDP, which shows dropped social status of Marathas,” the report says. The survey showed that 70% families live in kuchha houses, of these 37% live in temporary huts in farmland. Around 70% families live in small houses and 58% families have no separate kitchen. The percentage of families with water supply through pipe and LPG connection is less than that of Other Backward Classes and kunbi families.The commission has also reported that a total of 340 members from the 40,962 families which were surveyed had committed suicides. Between 2013-18, 23.56% of the 13,368 farmers who committed suicide were Marathas. It also says that 88.81% women from the community are involved in physical work for livelihood.The report observes that the number of students clearing secondary and higher secondary education was 79.5% and 67% respectively. “This is less than that of Kunbi and Other Backward Classes,” the report says.Financial backwardness While assessing the financial backwardness of the community, the Commission considered ration card distribution, poverty line, income and ability to avail loan, vehicle ownership, land ownership as criterion to fix the backwardness. While 72.82% Maratha families were found to have an average annual income of less than ₹50,000, 37.28% were found to be below poverty line. The report says 52% Maratha families avail loan for farm and non-farm reasons from institutional and non-institutional reasons. As many as 49% families do not own a vehicle, while 47% families have two-wheelers and 0.53% have four-wheelers. Only 2.21% have tractor for farm use.In all, 71% Maratha families were landless and small land holders, while only 2.7% owned land up to 10 acres.last_img

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