Monday, November 22, 2010

Census in India will enumerate people with mental illness for first time

From Indian Express:

For the first time, mentally ill people are going to be enumerated separately in the Census.

In the second phase of decennial exercise beginning February 9 for Census 2011, the enumerators will count the mentally ill persons separately and record their population in the country.

In the previous censuses, mentally disabled people were counted but there was no separate enumeration for them.

“Mentally ill persons are going to be enumerated in Census 2011 for the first time. Specific questions have been laid down for enumerators to ask about mentally ill persons in a family,” said Neena Sharma, the director of Census operations in Uttar Pradesh.

Census officials said unlike mental retardation, the onset or realisation of mental illness is not seen from the individual’s birth.

“It does not mean the enumerator will have to conduct any test to assess mental illness in any person. It should be left to the respondent to report whether the member of the household has mental illness,” said an official.