Impact Story

Persistent Community efforts compel Rozgarsevak to issue MNREGA Job cards to Dalits

25 Musahar Dalits families live in Sayar village for more than 50 years. They all are illiterate and immense caste-based discrimination not only by the Upper castes but also from the other so-called low caste communities.

Following the caste discrimination, they had never been issued the MNREGA job cards even after pleading several times to the rozgarsevak (Village council MNREGA official) since 2014 which was when the law was enacted. They also were ignorant of the procedure to apply for jobs or to approach higher officials. For living they had to work in place of other job cardholders in the village wherein they were paid low wages.

Community correspondent Anil Kumar identified the issue while he was on his fieldwork for a community meeting in the village. After speaking to these Dalit families he filmed a video and held a community meeting with the people. An application was written and signed by the present members and decided to submit it to rozgarsevak the next day. The community and Anil approached the sevak the next day, wherein the video was screened to him, and application was also handed over. He assured of job cards to the community. Several days passed but there wasn't any response by the Sevak. Community informed Anil of rozgarsevak's ignorant and caste discriminatory behaviour in the past and his malicious intentions. Consequently, this was followed by two more applications to the block development officer which were directed to rozgarsevak every time. On the final application, the BDO warned the Sevak of the consequences if he won't issue the Job cards to the community.

The Rozgar Sevak finally unwillingly had to issue job cards to the applicants. 18 of them received the job cards and they are working in the MNREGA project for road construction currently. 

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