Study on the Musahar Community of Bihar

The Commission supported a research study “The Musahar: A Socio-Economic Study” by the A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna. Musahars are amongst the poorest of the Scheduled Castes and their deprivation is such that they are often compelled to subsist on a diet of rats and similar rodents. Their population is concentrated in Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

The study pointed to the extreme socio-economic backwardness of Musahars. According to the study, the social life of Musahar was akin to that of primitive societies, extreme suffering attending every phase of life from birth till death. Education amongst the Musahars was almost non-existent, the literacy-rate being only six per cent. Development programmes of the Government had not reached them.

The report of the study is being examined by the Commission, which intends to pursue this matter, which draws attention to the persistent indignity with which an entire community has to live, despite the provisions in the Constitution and the laws of our land.