Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik's village, Mokhra Khas, is a laggard in most socio-economic indicators even by Haryana's low standards, according to the 2011 Census data
New Delhi: 23-year Sakshi Malik, daughter of a bus conductor, who became the first Indian woman wrestler to have won an Olympic medal ending the dry run for India at the Rio Games, belongs to Mokhra Khas village in Rohtak district of Haryana.
The village with a population of 10,780, according to the 2011 Census, has a sex ratio of 822.2, low by even Haryana’s standard (877). Haryana is infamous for its high female foeticides and skewed gender ratio.
And the situation is only worsening in Mokhra Khas with child sex ratio among 0-6 year olds dipping to 800 in the village, commensurate with the decline in Haryana (830) as well.
India is not doing any better, either.
Child sex ratio (914) is below the overall sex ratio of 940, according to the Census data. Cricketer Virendra Sehwag aptly tweeted: #SakshiMalik is a reminder of what cn happn if u don’t kill a girl child. When d going gets tough, its our girls who get going &save our pride (sic).
Overall, literacy rate in Mokhra Khas village at 67.5% is lower than both national (74%) and Haryana’s average (76.6%), with female literacy rate of the village dropping to 56.7%.
While a large portion (45.6%) of its main workers of the village are cultivators with agricultural land, only a fraction (3.7%) are agricultural labourers.
Now, let’s take a look at the economic condition of the households of Mokhra Khas village. Census data shows that 45.6% of the houses of the village are in good condition, 47.1% are livable and 7.3% are dilapidated.
Roofs of most of the houses (54.3%) in the village are made of thatch or grass, while 19.5% are constructed with burnt brick and another 21.4% with stone.
However, material used to build walls in most houses (89.8%) is burnt brick making them more durable. Floors of most houses are either built with cement (36.9%) or mud (26.4%), while 23.5% houses have floor made up of burnt bricks.
Since most villagers live in joint families, the household sizes are bound to be large. Sakshi’s village is no different. Around 31% households in the village have six-eight members, while 23.1% and 22.4% households have four and five members each, respectively.
With large joint families, the number of rooms in a house is a critical indicator of their living condition. Most of the houses in Sakshi’s village have either two rooms (38.4%) or three rooms (26.9%), while only 15.4% households live in houses with one room.
So where do the villagers get their drinking water from? Handpumps (49.9%) is the main source of drinking water, while 37.4% of households have access to tap water from treated source.
Mokhra Khas is a well-electrified village with 91.4% households using electricity as the main source of lighting. Yet, 7.2% households still use kerosene for lighting.
When it comes to toilets, one of the key focus areas of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 69.2% households of the village have toilets, while 30.6% households practice open defecation.
Firewood (46.7%) is the main source of fuel for cooking, while 24.5% households use cow dung for cooking. Only 15.8% households have access to cooking gas.
While the Census does not capture the new bank accounts opened through the recent Jan Dhan scheme, 79.2% households had access to banking services in the village by 2011.
When it comes to assets in a house, 60.3% households have a television set, while 67.1% households have a mobile phone. At least, this village has more toilets than mobile phones! At the national level, 53.2% households have a mobile phone but only 46.9% households have toilets, forcing Prime Minister Modi to make building toilets one key target under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Most households (50.4%) depend on bicycles for mobility, while 18.6% households have a two-wheeler and 4.8% households own a car. Only 3% have access to internet, but 12.9% have a computer or laptop without internet connection.
According to the Census, 8.5% households of Sakshi’s village reported having none of the specified assets.
Pardeep, sarpanch of the adjacent village Mokhra Roj, who goes by one name, said there is festive atmosphere in the area. “We are all eagerly waiting to receive Sakshi. We will take her round the village in a procession on the top of an open jeep," he said.