Culturally rich Mewat was initially a part of the Gurgaon district. In 2005, parts of Gurgaon and Faridabad were merged to form a separate district called Mewat. The district is spread over an area of 1859.61 square kilometres, and according to the 2011 census, has a population of 10,89,406. Ferozepur Jhirka, Nagina, Nuh, Punahana, and Pinangwan are major townships in the district.
Lack of education and literacy is one of the major concerns of the district of Mewat. The average literacy rate in the district is a mere 54.08%. Compared to the state average of 75.5% and a national average of 74.04%, this is an alarming concern for the district. Looking closely at the literacy rate, we find that women are worse off; while the male literacy rate of Mewat stands at about 69.9%, female literacy in the district hovers around an appalling 36.6%. The district’s literacy and education programmes need major overhauling. Awareness must be spread through road shows and with the help of popular celebrity involvement as part of literacy drives. Since most of the district is rural, the need for literacy will be better introduced by Village Panchayats and the Village Sewaks rather than by media campaigns.
Lack of basic sanitation and toilets are another major concern that has been plaguing the district. According to the 2011 census, 1,20,218 out of the 1,57,020 households in the state do not have a toilet within the premises. Members of about 1,19,303 of these households are forced to defecate in the open due to lack of access to a public toilet as well. While it may be difficult for the administration to ensure that each household has a toilet, construction of public toilets is well within the scope of action. Apart from this, creating awareness is also necessary since a number of households in the district confer precedence to luxuries such as owning mobile phones over the construction of a toilet.
Like most of the other southern districts of Haryana, Mewat suffers from major ground water problems including inequitable distribution, inadequate drainage and disposal, and a faulty distribution network. The district’s primary focus should now turn towards resolution of the drainage and distribution issues. Unless this is set right, the crops of this primarily agricultural district shall continue to suffer. Health and hygiene shall remain major concerns too.
A recent survey revealed that about 92% of the households in the district of Mewat do not have a valid power connection and have been drawing illegal connections, causing losses worth of crores to the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam. Only about 8 out of 100 households in the region have a metered power connection. Most of the rural belt survives on power theft and the situation has remained unaddressed over the years. Sensitisation and public awareness programs are essential in the region to restore civic order and rectify the situation. Tough policing coupled with better infrastructure is the need of the day.