MGNREGA

A SOURCE OF LIVELIHOOD

Beginning Situation of the Area: 

In the beginning, the situation was quite worse in the rural areas.  People were totally ignorant of their basic rights and entitlements. They were being misdirected by the local contractors and other fraudulent elements. The major problem was that the financial situation was very poor and thus people used to migrate to other areas for job. These indicators were not only small gaps within the mechanics of deliverance, but at large the key socio-cultural issues within the area, which led to many behavioral aspects among the target population. After indicator identification, it was decided to initially take up the question of MGNREGA for which Atmashakti provided several rounds of capacity building trainings for the Jansathi on different approaches of development, building conceptual clarity on role of people's collective to bring about social change, how to affirm equal rights guaranteed by the constitution and how to place the demand for work before various authorities and officials. Similarly, capacity building and training to the Coordinators on perspective building on constitutional rights and different government schemes and entitlements were also provided. Then we started the process of engaging with the local administration in terms of creating the demand flow from below through the village collectives. 

Challenges Faced:

  • Panchayat offices were not operational
  • Application forms for jobs were not available
  • Machines were being used to do work instead of human labour
  • Threat from local contractors and politicians 

Current Situation:

The efforts of Atmashakti have been fruitful and yet there are areas where we need to focus more in the days to come.  Till date, Atmashakti has reached to 8, 48,326 of population in 6200 GPs, 54 Blocks & 14 Districts.  This intervention also led to a lot of other changes like educating people and creating awareness on various Schemes, Programmes and Acts of government and now the people have been empowered to an extent wherein nowadays they do not seek help or support of the sangathan members and try to address these issues on their own. 

Achievement:

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is considered as a "Silver Bullet" for eradicating rural poverty and unemployment by generating demand for productive labor force in villages. It provided an alternative source of livelihood which had an impact on reducing migration, restricting child labor, alleviating poverty and making villages self-sustaining through creation of productive assets such as road construction, cleaning up of water tanks, soil and water conservation work, etc. Due to this reason, this Act is also considered as the largest anti-poverty programme in the world.  

Any event organized:

A Post Card Campaign was held around the state where 212161 nos. of cards were posted with an objective to resolve the problem of late payment and requesting an increase in wage rate, which had an impact over the government department, especially on late payment. Late payment issue was a major concern for the common people, though people worked very hard but they had to wait for 2-3 months to get their payment which was later resolved and a proper system came into place. It also forced government to give wage increment from Rupees 164/- to Rupees 174/-.   

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