A day in the life of an enumerator

An enumerator at work at Siddapura in Bengaluru on Saturday. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

Devi A., an enumerator of the Social and Educational Survey, makes her way into Siddapura slum on Saturday morning. She comes to the one-room home of Munilakshmi and announces aloud that she has come to collect information.

Ms. Munilakshmi does not know what all the fuss is about, but is ready to answer all queries. Ms. Devi is a little puzzled, though, by some replies. “She says she is 35, has a 28-year-old son and has been married for 18 years! How is this possible? Now I have to do the math …” Ms. Devi says.

The lady of the house surrenders a box that she says has all the “important documents”. Looking at the Aadhaar card, ration card and voter ID and after a brief chat with Ms. Munilakshmi, the survey is complete in 10 minutes with two columns empty as she is unaware of her son’s voter ID card details. She asks the enumerator where she would be tomorrow and promises to come to her with the details.

Just about a kilometre away, Sumangala is not as lucky with her enumeration work. At Wilson Garden, a middle-class locality, while some shut their doors and tell her to return another day; some who feel that the questions are “too many” tell her, midway through the process, to return later. Many are wary when questions regarding their bank accounts, annual income, property they own are asked.

Ms. Sumangala next steps into an apartment complex, wondering what awaits her. But here she is luckier. Y. Purushotam (79), a retired private company employee, urges her to come inside their house and is all geared to answer the questions. His daughter-in-law Navaneeta N. helps him in answering, as she makes a few phone calls to her husband to seek clarifications. After 10 minutes, Ms. Sumangala is comfortable enough to get talking about their daughters’ scores in schools. Soon tumblers of buttermilk arrive.

By the clock, it takes 42 minutes for the family of 10 to finish the survey. Even an enthusiastic Mr. Purushotam is quite exhausted at the end of 55 replies.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 2:12:16 AM |

Next Story