Two months into the Coronavirus-induced lockdown, Gaon Connection in consultation with Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies conducted a sample survey among rural households located in all zones of India to find out how lives and livelihoods in villages had coped during the lockdown. The survey was conducted in 179 districts spread across 20 States and 3 Union Territories. The States where the survey was conducted are Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Odisha, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The surveyed Union Territories are Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. A total of 25,371 respondents were interviewed between May 30 and July 16, 2020 during the exercise. All respondents interviewed were main earners of their households, and thus primarily Men.
In addition to the interview with the main earner in every household, a supplementary interview was also conducted in those households where a household member had returned from a city or a town during the lockdown. This interview was taken after the completion of the main earner’s interview. A total of 963 supplementary interviews of such migrants were completed. The aim of interviewing migrants was to find out their experience and struggle in the city/town at the time of the lockdown and their experience/ordeal in travelling back home during the lockdown.
The fieldwork for the survey was conducted by Gaon Connection’s members in each district. All interviews were conducted face-to-face at/outside with residence of the interviewee. During the interview the interviewers from Gaon Connection made sure that they were wearing a mask and maintained a distance of 1 meter between themselves and the interviewee while asking the questions.
The survey was conducted using a structured and standardized interview schedule that was administered via a specially designed mobile phone application. The interview schedule was designed by researchers at CSDS for the Gaon Connection. The main interview took about 30-35 minutes to complete on average whereas the supplementary interview took about 15-20 minutes.
The survey data was analysed by researchers at Lokniti, CSDS for Gaon Connection.