VV-PACS Community Correspondent Anil Kumar reports from Mahadepur in Uttar Pradesh, checking the ground realities of one of the most advertised policy of recent times: the MNREGA act (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme). The report shows hundreds of labourers haven't been paid for their work. You can ensure they get paid:
CALL To ACTION: You can call the Block Development Officer of Bhadhoi district at +91-9450261500 to ask that the labourers who worked under MNREGA scheme in Mahadepur be compensated accordingly.
In 2003, riding on the development wave and sure of a resounding victory, the Bhartiya Janata Party decided to call the elections early. Having ignored the steep rise in farmer suicides across the country, to their shock, they lost the majority and the Congress party came to power.
One of the first steps after forming the government taken by Congress-led coalition government was launching a rural employment scheme for unskilled labour. Originally dubbed the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, it was designed to provide a means of livelihood to 300 million Indians living below the poverty line.
The implement of this policy was so lacklustre that, over time, it became a symbol of the ineptness of the new government. Hundreds of thousands who worked under the scheme — like those in Mahadepur — never got paid and the middleman consumed most of the money that was paid by the taxpayer.
9 years later, today, the policy has cost about 80 crores INR to the exchequer and those in the lowest economic strata — for whom the policy was designed — have gained next to nothing. When they approach the government representatives to get answers, they get assurances, just like the policy itself.
A well functioning MNREGA Scheme has immense potential to support families currently living below poverty line. Today, you can make this a reality for the residents of Mahadepur. Call the number above.
About the Partnership: The Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programme and Video Volunteers have come together to create the Community Correspondents Network. The videos generated by the network will be able to highlight voices from the margins, providing skills to social communicators to provide advocacy tools to community based organisations.
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