This is a general post on increasing awareness amongst people about census. Now this is not a post where I will census is important, support the workers blah blah blah.
This is a post about important things that one must know about the census and the census workers lest someone gets robbed blind by a bunch of impersonators in a census worker disguise just to get into the house or molesters or any variations thereof. For all you know, they could be con guys, TV guys, or simply sick guys.
- Don’t let anybody walk into your house without checking their identity cards if they say they are census enumerators. Also, they don’t come in groups, only one enumerator will visit your house.
- Don’t give away photocopies of any of your documents like proof of date of birth, residence etc. The enumerator won’t ask for any proof for your responses. If they ask for any documental proof, it most certainly isn’t going into the official records and would probably be used in some other god-forbidden scheme.
- However, since no official proof is being asked for doesn’t mean that you nuts over lying. Don’t be tempted to lie or brag while answering any question. If you use state transport buses to go to your office, don’t tell them you hire AC cabs. The data would never be made public on individual level, so what’s the point?
- It’s true that you could be penalized for refusing to answer a question, and it’s unfortunate that they never consult the civil society over the content of census questionnaire, but some questions are not yet part of the questionnaire.
- Use your common sense before answering, e.g. a census enumerator can surely ask if someone is pregnant in the family, but he or she has no business asking how and where did the member got pregnant. Similarly, they can ask about number of western or Indian toilets, but not whether you take a look at it before you flush.
- Familiarize yourself with the questionnaire. Perhaps no media organization gave you this information (as giving the information out doesn't increase the TRP but a robbed senior citizen couple does, and also provides fuel for future episodes), but here is the link of what a census questionnaire might look like. Try to go through the link.
- Still, if you don’t want to answer a question, you could claim that it hurts your religious or cultural sensitivity. Tell the enumerators that you find the questions provocative and offensive. It works; e.g. it is no longer necessarily for the head of the family to name the female members of his family as it was deemed to be against the customs of some communities.
- When the census interview is over, the enumerators would make a sign outside your residence.
In case of any doubt as to the identity or intentions of the workers, inform the police at the earnest or at least call your neighbors to the rescue.
All said and done, Please realize the just because some government school teachers have had the misfortune of being appointed on the census duty doesn't make them any less human. So whenever any genuine census worker comes to your doorstep, attend them courteously, offer them water and DON'T set you dogs on them or DON'T close door in their face. For the fake ones, you can go ahead and beat the hell out of them... I don't mind.
PS: This, after I read an article here. The article, though written in a humorist manner and makes fun of some aspects and the whole “bust size” thing, is a good read and very informative. I have copy pasted the relevant section of the article and modified as per the tone. I am not the original writer of this article.