Census misgivings & misconceptions

M Z Rifat

Population census, on the strict direction of the country’s apex court, is currently in progress all over the country though after 17 long years. Population census is to take place after every 10 years. But 1981 Census was held in 1998 and now it also being held after some years and 10 years schedule has not somehow been followed again. Population census is and must essentially be held after every 10 years as data so collected provides basic necessary information to the economic planners to formulate policies for different sectors on the basis of population data as how many people need what. Framing of policies merely on working population figures without holding census quite obviously prove inadequate and inefficient.
Population Census is in progress and census teams comprising two teachers and one fully armed army jawan are going door to door in their allotted areas. Teachers and army jawans had been provided all necessary and required training about their rather sensitive, responsible and important task. In all fairness, I have heard census team members asking people whether any trans-genders live in their locality and whether some people are seen sleeping overnight outside their premises. Those who are raising concerns about trans-genders, minorities etc being ignored should better visit any crossing in Lahore during evening hours, get in touch with some transgenders running around the cars and asking for money. If they get any information about their residential addresses this information may please be passed on to the Census officials so that they can go there. If there was no column about transgenders why census officials be making queries from the people in one or other locality.
Unfounded misgivings and misconceptions create doubts in the minds of the people whose national duty is to provide all correct information to the census teams when they visit them. As a matter of fact, this goes to the credit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had held earlier census in 1998, for holding the 2017 census now again fully obeying the direction of SC in this regard.

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