The Church in Goa Friday said the influx of migrants and the significant outflow of people working as sailors on long haul cruises could mean a distorted representation of Goan demography in the census 2011 exercise.
In a statement issued here, the Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP), the social arm of the Roman Catholic Church in Goa, said the processes adopted for the enumeration of Goa’s population should be corrected in order to accommodate and modify such exceptions.
‘A very large number of Goans of all communities work on ships, whether cruise lines, cargo carriers or other sea vessels for about six to eight months only and leave their homes in Goa for long periods.
‘All these Goans are excluded from the population enumeration, since they are not in Goa during the above period,’ Father Valerian Vaz, president of the CSJP, said.
Vaz also pointed out that a large section of Goan expats belonged to the weaker sections of society and that their ‘exclusion distorts the statistics of these communities with adverse effects on their rightful benefits’.
The inclusion of the floating migrant population as inhabitants of Goa in the census would affect the demographic framework of the state, he added.
‘There is a large floating population of migrants in Goa from other states of India. Their inclusion in Goa inflates the population of this state, distorting the factual statistics; simultaneously it deflates the statistics in their respective states,’ Vaz said.
The population enumeration phase of the national census began Feb 9 and will conclude Feb 28.
Goa has a long history of able bodied sailors working in international ships. After Punjab and Kerala, Goa also has a large expat population, especially in the Middle East.