W3: We Want Work

Senka Bahal, a resident of Jhirpani village in Odisha has not received his dues from the last job he did under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). His job card came in 6 years ago but it was only last year that he got his first job under the scheme. He along with 8 other individuals from his village were asked to dig a pond. They finished the job in time but their payments didn’t come through. After some persuasion they were given half of the promised wage. It has been 6 months and they haven’t yet received their dues. Senka and the others have their Below Poverty Line cards, yet it does not provide for all their needs. Below Poverty Line is an economic benchmark and a poverty threshold used by the Government of India to indicate economic disadvantage and to identify individuals and households in need of government assistance and aid. Income-based poverty lines consider the bare minimum income to provide basic food requirements; it does not account for other essentials such as health care and education. For that, India has other schemes like the Indira Awas Yojana (housing scheme), MGNREGA, and the Right to Education Act among others. “It is extremely difficult for us to manage our household and expenses. For the last 6 months, we have been managing basic needs by farming. But it’s not enough for other amenities or expenses. Rest of the year, we manage by working daily jobs but for that their needs to be work for us to do. We thought the job card would provide us with work,” says Senka Bahal. CC Dasrathi requests your help in getting these people their rights; right to employment and the dues that is rightfully theirs. CTA: Please call Suresh Chandra Pradhan, BDO, Tileibani block deogarh, Odisha at +91-8895450900 and ask him to get the core of this matter. India has various schemes that cater to its fast growing populace. India has the second largest population after China. It is a very thin line that the country is striding on. The government ensured that it can take care of this ever growing country by deploying these schemes, which is a great step by any standards. Schemes like NREGA, RTE, IAY and others are superb examples of a country’s zeal for development. But one has to take into account their effectiveness which is often hampered by the delivery mechanisms that they have adopted. Practices like corruption are deep-rooted in the system. It’s not a new phenomenon and probably is going to stay put for the next 20 years. So, does one concentrate on putting into action new schemes or ensuring the proper deployment of these existing schemes for the upliftment of the rural and the marginalized?

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