A vast majority of the country's population, including rural and urban, live in spaces smaller than the minimum floor area per person as recommended for prison cells.
Around 80 per cent of the poorest rural households have an average floor area equal to or lesser than 449 sq ft and considering that the average household size is 4.8 members in rural areas, this turns out to be 94 sq ft or less that is available per person. This figure is lower than the 96 sq ft of ground area recommended for prison cells, according to a Times of India report.
The findings were revealed when comparing the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) 69th round survey report on housing conditions with the Model Prison Manual 2016.
In urban areas, considering the poorest of families, around 60 per cent live in homes that have an average floor area of 380 sq ft or less. The average household size is 4.1 members and the per capita space turns out to be 93 sq ft for these homes. This is once again lower than the recommended specifications for a prison cell.
The proportions of 80 per cent of rural population and 60 per cent of the urban population may not always be the case considering that some households will have fewer than the average number of individuals or slightly bigger homes.
The report stated that Dalits, Adivasis have lesser space per individual along with families in poorer states. The per capita space available for scheduled caste people is 70.3 sq ft while for scheduled tribes it is 85.7 sq ft.
While the poorest 20 per cent have a per capita living space of 75 sq ft in urban areas and 78 sq ft in rural areas, the richest 20 per cent have an average of 102 sq ft in rural areas and 135 sq ft in urban areas.
About 15 states and UTs have their rural population living in space smaller than an 'ideal' prison cell, the report added.
(Courtesy : Times Now)