CHAPTER - VIII
(a) PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION :
It is to be noted that public administration as an occupation had but little significance in the constituent areas of the United Mikir and North Cachar Hills district before its creation in 1951. There were only a few public employees in the administration services at Haflong which then formed the headquarters of the North Cachar Hills subdivision under the Cachar district. The emergence and growth of Diphu as the headquarters of the new district and subsequent creation of Block and Circle headquarters , other offices of the State and Central Government and local bodies enhanced the importance of public administration which claimed 4,954 persons in the district as per the 1961 Census. This figure does not include public services employees in such fields as transport communication, information and broadcasting, education and scientific services, health, industries, production, construction , marketing and operation of financial institutions etc., each of which is classified in approximate industrial groups.
The following table shows the distribution of the employees in public administration services in the district as per the 1961 Census.1
| Description of |
| 2.Administrative Service |
| 3.Administrative Service |
| 4.Administrative Service |
(Quasi Govt. and local bodies )
|Total public services||4715||239||4954||355||17|
This shows that in 1961, the percentage of people pursuing such avocation in the district remanied below two percent of its total population. Female participation in administrative services was extremely low. The total number of females in this service was only 239. More than 94 percent of the total employees in administration was engaged in the rural areas. The following table shows the numbers of adimnitrators, executive officials under the State, Central and Local Self Government as per the 1961 Census.2
| 1.Adimnitrators and exe- |
| 313 ||21||334||33||1|
| 2.Adimnitrators and exe- |
| 3.Adimnitrators and exe- |
| 4.Adimnitrators and exe- |
| 5.Adimnitrators and exe- |
|6. Village officials||22||22|
| 7.Adimnitrators and exe- |
It may be noted here that most of the employees of the administrative departments and other development and welfare departments in the district hail from other parts of the country outside the district. Lack of facilities in the newly established headquarters town of Diphu which was a tiny village railway station, required the Government to provide with various facilities to public servants particularly housing accomodation. Government provided with rent-free thatched houses while charged the minimum 10 percent of pay as rent for pucca quarters.
Some of the benefits available to public servants are : (1) general Provident Fund, (2) Pensions and Gratuities after retirement , (3) Joint Family Pension, Liberalised Family Pension, Commuted Pension, (4) Free Medical Treatment for the employees and his family and children, (5) Earned leave for three months with full average pay and for one month with half average pay at a time, (6) Medical leave with full average pay and also maternity leave for females, (7) Sickness Benefit for treatment of some serious diseases , (8) 15 days Casual Leave plus 2 days special Casual Leave within a calendar year, (9) 120 days i.e., 4 months leave with full average pay at the time of retirement, (10) Provision for a public servant in permanent employment for going on lien to some other service, (11) Provision for travelling allowance for officers going home on earned leave, (12) Building advance, (13) Conveyance advance for purchasing motor cars, motor cycles, cycles etc., (14) Provision for rent free quarters and House rent in some Departments, (15) Provision for free education to children of the Central Government employees. The working hours in the State Government offices, except in the winter season is for 61/2 hours on weekdays and 3 hours on Saturdays. The offices of the State Government remain closed usually for thirty-one days a year.
1. Census of India, 1961 , Assam, District Census Hand Book, United Mikir and North Cachar Hills , p. 88.
2. Census of India, 1961 , Assam, District Census Hand Book, United Mikir and North Cachar Hills , p.194
Public Employees Organisation :
In order to safeguard the interests of the Government employees and to promote their well-being , several categories of employees seving under the State Government and Central Government have formed some associations. The organisations of Central Government employees are formed on All-India basis, while those of the State Government employees are formed on All-Assam basis. There are district units of both these typees of organisation in this district. These organisations endavour to fulfil their grievances in a peaceful manner. Time to time some of the organisations also resort to strikes. More notable of these strikes are :-
1.The All India Postal Union's strike in 1968,
2.All India Railway Union's strike in 1967, and
3.All Assam Ministerial Association's strike in 1965 and 1966. The following are some of the Association of the Government employees :-
(1)All Assam Ministerial Officer's Association (in State Government service ).
(2)All Assam 4th Grade Employees Association (in State Government service )
(3)All Assam Transport Worker's Union.
(4)All Assam Mandal Kanango Sanmilan.
(5)All Assam Sericultural Officer's Association.
(6)All Assam Mohurir Association.
(7)All Assam Worker's Union,P.W.D.
(8)A.E.S., S.E.S. & S.A.S. for Officer's of the P.W.D.
(9) Abkari Karmachari Sangha.
(10) Assam Civil Service (class I ) Association.
(11) Assam Civil Service (class II ) Association.
(12) All India Postal Union (Under Central Government).
(13)Employes Association of Assam State Electricity Board.
(14)All Assam Co-operative Officer's Association.
(b) LEARNED PROFESSIONS :
Before the creation of the district, the percentage of persons engaged in learned professions such as teaching, medicine and surgery, engineering and legal practice was very negligible in the areas constituting the district except at Haflong . The creation of the district and growth of the two towns opened increasing opportunities for such professions. The number of persons pursuing such learned professions in 1961 was recorded at 2,019 of whom 1,217 were males and 802 females. 3 They constituted about 2 percent of the total population of the district.
Along with the expansion of education particularly primary education resulting in the increase of educational institutions in the district, the teaching profession has drawn increasing of persons from within and outside the district. According to the 1961 Census, there were 906 teachers (all categories) in the district and of them 247 were females. Primary and middle schools provide with the largest avenue by engaging 607 teachers including 207 female teachers while secondary schools had only 203 teachers, the number of female teachers being only 27. The number of teachers increased to 1,285 during 1963- 64 and of them teachers of primary and middle schools alone accounted for 1,038 . Public consciousness as to the importance of education is now gradually increasing in the district and the Government is paying much attention towards rapid expansion of education. Service conditions of the teachers are now being improved to attract qualified persons to this professions to manage the growing number of schools. Besides providing them with better pay and other facilities, their children are now being given free education and scholarships for prosecuting higher education. The number of different categories of teachers and their distribution in urban areas are shown in the following as per the 1961 Census.4
|Teachers - (total)||659||247||906||35||19|
|(a) in Secondary Schools||176||27||203||17||7|
|(b) in Middle and Primary Schools||400||207||607||18||10|
4. Census of India, 1961 , Assam, District Census Hand Book, United Mikir and North Cachar Hills ,p. 193.
Doctors :According to the 1961 Census, the total strength of physicians, surgeons and dentists in the district was 123 only (all males) and that of nurses, pharmacists and other medical and health technicians was 697, - males 165, and females 532. They are mostly employed in the State hospitals and dispensaries. Some of them are employed in the private hospitals and dispensaries maintained by the tea garden authorities. The exact numbers of doctors under Government and Private emploment as well as of private practitioners are not known. The following table illustrates the different categories of doctors, nurses and related workers in the district as per the 1961 Census.5
|1|| Physicians, surgeons |
| (a) Physicians and |
| (b) Physicians, surgeons |
|2|| Nurses, Pharmacists |
and other medical and
| 165 ||532||697||1||4|
| (a) Nurses ||22||149||171||2|
|(b) Midwives and Health visitors|| 4 ||354||358||2|
| (c) Pharmacists and phar- |
| (d) Vaccinators. ||24||24|
| (e) Medical and health |
ratory Assistants )
The above table reveals the absence of homeophatic and Ayurvedic systems of treatment in the district in 1961. Another peculiarity is that the largest number of these professional men are engaged in the rural areas of the district.
5. Ibid p. 192-93.
Legal practice :
According to the 1961 Census, there were only 12 jurists in the district. It may be noted that legal practice in this district is yet to develop as litigation among the unsophisticated tribal people is almost absent . As a matter of fact, the litigants have to resort to hiring lawyers from the neighbouring districts of Nowgong, Sibsagar and Cachar.
As elsewhere , there is absence of females in the engineering profession in this district. The total number of architects, engineers and surveyors in the district was only 112 in 1961 and of them 57 were civil engineers (including overseers). Only 3 persons were separtely recorded in the categories of chemists, physicists, geologists and other physical scientists and 18 persons were recorded as biologists, veterinarians, agronomists and related workers in that Census. In addition to these workers, 44 labour and social welfare workers, 46 artists, writers and related wokers, 38 draughtsmen, science and engineering technicians not elsewhere classified and 20 other professional, technical and related workers were serving in the district.
Photography and Cinema :
As revealed by the 1961 Census, ther were 53 photographers and related camera operators and 517 service, sports and recreation workers in the district.
(c) DOMESTIC AND PERSONAL SERVICES :
In the past , the areas constituting this district remained economically much backward. The social structure of the unsophisticated tribal people living a free and simple life is believed to have not induced the growth of dependency on domestic servants. On the other hand, they had among themselves village blacksmiths, carpenters, weavers etc., to make agricultural implements and the minimum need of cloths. But the growth of towns and the creation of a separate administrative district with the undeveloped areas mainly inhanited by the tribal people have brought some changes on the entire economy. The influx of the Government officials and other outsiders in course of various trades and professions has developed the institution of domestic servants and other personal sevices of barbers, washermen , tailors, shoe-makers, carriers and the like. Most of the people carrying such occupations hail from outside the district particularly from Nepal, U.P. , Bihar etc.
Domestic and institutional servants :
According to the 1961 Census, the total number of prsons in the district engaged in such occupations as house-keepers, cooks, maids and such other related workers was 684 consisting of 457 males and 227 females. Of these persons both in domestic and institutional services, house-keepers, matrons ans stewards numbered 80 males and 8 females, cooks and cook- bearers 153 males and 108 females while in domestic service, butlers, bearers, waiters and maids etc., were 94 males and 33 females , the numberof Ayas, nurse-maids etc., was 72 and the rest of 130 males and 6 females were not classified in any sub-groups. Again of these persons, only 37 males ans 30 females were found in the urban areas. 54 males waiters were separately censused as institutional workers. The number of building care-takers, cleaners, sweepers etc., stood at 175 males and 17 females. The service conditions of this category of workers is the least enviable of the lot. The monthly wages of servants hardly exceed Rs.30.00 although their bare necessities of food , lodging and clothing are fulfilled by their emploers. There is no limit of working hours for these workers.
It is already said that there is no professional barber among the indigenous people of the district. As in the other districts of Assam, professional barbers came to this district from outside the State of Assam, particularly from West- Bengal , Bihar , U.P. etc. Formerly, the barbers confined their business in the urban areas, trade centres and weekly markets located in the plains areas and did their business by the roadside. Sometimes , they moved in those localities. As time passed on, barber's shop or saloons and beuty shops began to grow up in urban areas and trade centres to satisfy the changing taste of th people. Now-a-days, they sometimes move from village to village to attend calls on some particular occasion. The minimum rate of hair-cutting is 75 paise in a saloon and 50 paise outside. According to the 1961 Census, the total number in the district was 82 only (all males ).
Like barbers, these people also came to the district from other parts of the country and do their business likewise. In recent years, establishment of washermen, laundrymen and dhobis are growing up in the urban areas. Washermen collect the washables from their customers an wash them in rivers or strerams nearby and iron them in their workshops. The total number of laundrymen, washermen and dhobis stood at 187 of which 147 were males and 40 females in the 1961 Census
Tailors and other related workers :
In that Census, 670 persons consisting of 56 males and 614 females were returned as tailors , furries and dress and garment makers in the district. Tailoring is, o course, of cosmopolitan character and was not known in the past to the tribal people who used their home-made garments and still prefer to readymade ones. This explains the preponderance of females in this profession. The Census also revealed that a few other persons were in the pursuit of some other miscellaneous occupations e.g. 25 persons including 4 females worked as hawkers, peddlars and street vendors, 16 men were animal drawn vehicle drivers, 23 men were palki and doli bearers. 991 labourers consisting of 757 males and 234 females not classified under any group of workers in that Census earned their bread as loaders and unloaders. In addition , 3,821 male and 509 female labourers were left unclassified into any group of workers in the 1961 Census. These labourers might have been engaged in casual work in construction , transport and communication, trade and commerce , and in other fields. Such casual labourers generally come to the district from outside particularly from Bihar.
The following table shows some other workers engaged in various other occupation in the district.
| Working proprietors, |
| Salesmen and shop |
Assistants, wholesale and
|Farmers and farm managers.||4||2||6||1||1|
| Farm workers,animals,birds |
andinsects rearers (including
| 155 ||160||315||4|
|Fishermen and realated workers||23||12||35|
|Log-fellers and wood-cutters||15||15||1|
| Loggers and other forestry |
|Drivers, railway engine||39||39||4|
|Firemen, railway engine.||26||26||1|
| Motor vehicle and motor |
| Workers in transport and |
| Ropemakers, spinners,weavers, |
knitters, dyers and related
| 33 ||7357||7390||1||30|
| Leather cutters,lasters |
| Blacksmiths, hammersmiths |
| Precision instrument makers, |
watch makers, jewellers and
| Toolmakers, machinists |
plumbers, welders, platers
and related workers.
| Carpenters, joiners and |
cabinet makers etc
| Bricklayers, plasterers, |
| Compositors, printers, en- |
gravers, book-binders and
| Potters, kilnmen, glass and |
clay formers and related
| Millers , bakers, brew-masters |
and related food and
| Basketry makers and |
| Service sport and recreation |