Census 2011 reaches out to young India

New Delhi: Before charting out the statistical map of more than a billion people, Census 2011 has reached out to the nation`s young citizens to spread the word through new efforts ranging from specially designed kits for students to logging on to social networking sites.

With the first or preparatory phase of the 15th Census over, the second phase, which will reveal information about the nation`s population, is due to be carried out all over the country between February 9 and 28.

Census officials have made efforts to reach out the young Indian. One of their attempts has been to engage the interest of students studying in Class VI, VII and VIII all over the country.

"Reaching a child means reaching the child`s family. So we want as many people as possible to be aware and to have goodwill towards the entire census activity," Director Census Operations, Delhi Varsha Joshi told a news agency.

A `Census Week` is being undertaken internally by a number of government, public and private schools identified for the purpose in each district where youngsters have been acquainted with the relevance of the Census and its previous outcomes.

Named `Census and You`, one specially designed bilingual kit in Hindi and English kit has also been dispatched to each school which includes a participation certificate, quiz cards with multiple answer options that can be tested during school assemblies and a `data wheel` which has information about all states and comparing national figures among its contents.

"There have been local efforts like this, but this time it is happening all over India," Joshi says.

The kit has been sent to roughly every fourth school in Delhi or almost 600 schools, she says.

As part of another endeavour, Census 2011 now also features on popular networking website Facebook with 269 users having already pressed the button to `Like` it since its launch late last week.

It is expected to not just serve as a "direct interaction point" but also bring home the idea that data is "accessible" to everyone and "getting the right data of such people (youth) is very important for their own future" for them to clinch global opportunities.

"The message is that the census is good for everyone, it is about everyone. Every single person counts. And another important issue is that census data is kept confidential so there is no reason to be afraid to give the full data," Joshi says.