This profession was attached greater importance in the past. However with the spread of Western education and the advancement consequent upon the acceptance by the people of the modern way of thinking people are becoming more sceptic about the old dogmas. This has contributed to the decline in the importance of this profession with the result that the number of persons engaged in this profession is decreasing at a fast rate. According to the Census of 1961, the number of persons engaged in religious and allied services rendered by pandits, priests, preceptors, fakirs, monks, nuns, sadhus, religious mendicants and other religious workers was 2,444. Of these, 2,162 persons were males and the rest were females. It may be noted that the priests and mendicants have retained their importance in rural as well as urban areas to some extent.