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Bare Necessities Index

Is development inclusive? Despite districts, blocks and villages as units of development interventions, it is seen that resources do not reach the margins. Invariably, those at the margins are not counted in national statistics. The aim behind this survey is to make sure they are counted.


Our primary objective is to reach out to 100 hamlets and beyond; mainly to facilitate the SC, ST, DNT and PVGT communities to access State provisions and livelihood opportunities. Drawing from the Bare Necessities Index (2020-21) and our focus on the marginalised communities, we have highlighted three dimensions of inequity. During the months of February and March, our fellows conducted surveys across six states in hamlets that are socially marginalised to document their access to bare necessities, public infrastructure and to map the prevalence of social issues. 

Three Dimensions of Inequity


Access to bare necessities (based on index prepared by the Government of India in Economic Survey, 2020-21, with additional indicators  on gender, disability)


Inequity related to access to infrastructure built through public funds or for public purpose;


Trends with respect to key social issues like child marriage, child labour and school dropout.


Bare necessities Score: Adding questions related to gender and disability to the existing list of indicators of the bare necessities index (GoI 2020-21), we arrived at a total of 28 indicators. For each of these indicators, the number of households that had access to these basic necessities were mapped within each hamlet*. 

Social Issues Score: The number of children involved in child labour and those who have dropped out of school were mapped for each hamlet*. Based on the number of children, each hamlet was given a colour (as shown in the image alongside). The score for the hamlet was calculated based on the number of 'Red' indicators. 

Higher the score = More attention needed

Key - Social.PNG

Infrastructure Score: Access to basic services were mapped for each hamlet* based on their distance from the village. This was scored based on the matrix provided alongside. All indicators were scored across a range with 'hamlet included' on one end and 'hamlet excluded' at the other.
'Hamlet included' implies that all services were within the hamlet.

'Hamlet excluded' meant that 6+ basic services were 'More than 5kms away' from the hamlet.

* Hamlet refers to a group of houses (~50-200 households) within a village.

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