Skip to main content

MGNREGA: 'After working for 30 days, we were told govt providing Rs 50 per day'

By Our Representative

The latest civil society-sponsored tracker of the Peoples' Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), which seeks to focus on the state of implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in Bihar states, that 34.3 lakh households were provided employment this year, which is the highest in the last three years, “Yet 18% of the households demanded but did not receive employment.”
The PAEG tracker, which seeks to assess whether Bihar – which has witnessed devastating floods affecting the lives and livelihoods of numerous residents of Bihar – was able to provide jobs to nearly 18 lakh migrant workers which state government claims returned on account of the lockdown, “which many argue is a rather conservative estimate.”
Suggesting that the state government was unable with a robust, effective and time implementation of MGNREGA in Bihar in order to mitigate “social and economic impact of these two shocks”, the tracker states, “Even though Bihar holds the distinction of being home to the largest proportion of out-migrant workers in the country, only 14.17% of the new job cards created in the country are from Bihar.”
It continues, despite the legal entitlement of 100 days of jobs per household under MGNREGA, as compared to Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where 33,000 households and 27,000 households completed the 100 day provision, in Bihar only 2,136 households “completed 100 days of work.”
The tracker further states that, as of today, Bihar is short of Rs 159 crore, which means that “as of today, let alone having adequate funds for implementing MGNREGA in letter and spirit, Bihar owes money to its workers and material suppliers.”
Worse, it says, “With unemployment at a high and unmet demand at 17%, it is worrying to note that there has been an increase in material-intensive work in Bihar.” Thus, “39% of total NREGA expenditure so far has been on material, compared to 21% last year.”

Testimonies by MGNREGA workers:

Arun Yadav (Chitoria Panchayat, Mansahi Block, Katihar District): Due to lockdown restrictions, I returned from Delhi in May. During quarantine after returning to my village, some officials from the Labour Department came and took my information. They promised that migrants will be provided work in the village. The mukhya of our village arranged for employment in tree plantation work. We were told that we will receive MGNREGA wages (Rs 194 per day) for the work.
After working for 30 days, we were told that the government is only providing wages at Rs 50 per day. We demanded MGNREGA wages, but we are yet to be paid. I applied for work under Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan and was assured that I will receive a call from the government when work is available. Almost 50 days have passed and I have not received any calls. I am planning to return to Delhi and look for work. Covid-19 does not feel like a big risk in comparison to hunger. 
A civil society activist talking to an MGNREGA worker
Jitendra Paswan (Chitoria Panchayat, Mansahi Block, Katihar District): MGNREGA workers are organised in our Panchayat. That is why we were able to force the administration to provide us work under MGNREGA during the lockdown. About 200-250 workers received a minimum four weeks of employment this year.
Some people have not received payment for their work. Returnee migrants to the panchayat were affected the most as they did not receive enough days of employment despite being provided with job cards on their arrival. Therefore most of the migrants have gone back to cities looking for work despite knowing that the number of cases of Covid-19 is on the rise in cities. 
Covid-19 does not feel like a big risk compared to hunger. Most migrants have gone back despite knowing that the number of cases of Covid-19 is on rise in cities
Ayub (Chahatpur panchayat, Palasi block, Araria District): Three members of my family and I applied for work under MGNREGA in April. But till now we have received employment for only 12 days per person. Technically we have received 48 days of employment in our household. But under the present crisis when we are not able to find work anywhere other than MGNREGA, 100 days of work per household is not enough. Most NREGA workers in our panchayat have not received employment in the last two months. 
When we raised this issue to our panchayat mukhiya, she said that there is no work. But a lot of work is being diverted to contractors who employ their own workers. The government representatives also turn a blind eye to our demands as they fear the contractor lobby.
Akhilesh Kumar (Laxmipur panchayat, Kursakanta Block, Araria District): We have received only 4-7 days of work this year. People from nearby panchayats told us that they received two weeks of work. In June, during harvest season, some workers worked on fields but at lower wages compared to previous years. My family grows maize in our field. This time we received Rs 950 per quintal for our produce in the market. Whereas last year we were able to sell the produce at Rs 1,850 per quintal.
Under these circumstances, the government is not able to provide us work under NREGA. We are not applying for unemployment allowance hoping that we will be provided work under in October. Government announced that 'vriksharopan' work will be done by NREGA workers, but none of us received work. That work was given to private contractors.
---
Click here for full PAEG tracker report

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Upholding labour rights, Nehruvian scientific temper, Rajni Patel opposed Emergency

By Harsh Thakor*  Rajni Patel, who died 40 years ago, whatever his flaws, had one great quality: his human touch to offer selfless service and ability to galvanise or influence human beings from all walks of life. Few people would ever go out of the way to help someone or serve as selflessly without aim of personal gain. Rajni championed Nehruvian secular ideas and scientific temper. As a master in public relations he revealed utmost humility. As a barrister, he never appeared against the trade unions or workers. A Fabien Socialist he opposed liberal capitalism and radical socialism. Unlike most lawyers, he did not succumb to the lure of amassing wealth. Rajni was born in Sirsa, in Gujarat, on the very day Gandhi set foot on Indian soil, on 9th January, 1915. He gained his baptism through one of Gandhi's speeches calling for the boycott of foreign goods, which was the virtual turning point of his life. Rajni toed Gandhi to organise boycott of foreign goods. Rajni was able to cros

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

Vadodara violence: Fine Arts Faculty alumni raise fingers at Varsity's political appointee

Hasmukh Vaghela with PM Counterview Desk  In a statement, alumni of the Faculty of Fine Arts (FoFA), Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda, Gujarat, referring to the “violence” by right-wing groups for displaying “objectionable” paintings that “hurt religious sentiments” at the one of India’s top fine arts institute May 5, have taken strong exception to “the assault and rustication” of one of the students, and lack of action taken against those who “violated” the institution and committed the act. Floated as an online petition seeking wider support, the FoFA alumni, in their statement, addressed to the vice chancellor, MSU, said, there should be “thorough” investigation in the whole incident and “immediate action” should be taken against syndicate member Hasmukh Vaghela, MSU, who sparked the assault, and “other co-conspirators” for breaching “university code of conduct and unlawful activities committed in broad daylight”. While the alumni statement doesn't say so, Vaghela

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

World Bank proved right, Narmada is already a destructive project: Medha Patkar

By Rajiv Shah  Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar has said that the World Bank’s independent review mission, which brought out the Morse Commission report , has been proved right: The Sardar Sarovar dam has not only failed to live up to the loud promises made for irrigating large arid areas of Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat, those who were displaced and resettled in Gujarat are getting increasingly restive as many of them are unable to get the promised water for irrigation and some for drinking water too. While 50,000 families have been resettled in three states and 20,000 have received land rights as land or cash, the authorities have not calculated what should be done with 15,000 families, whose houses are acquired for Sardar Sarovar but following changing backwater levels of the Sardar Sarovar dam, they are denied rehabilitation, Patkar tells Counterview in an interview (part1*): *** Q: What is the latest position in your view as far as the Sardar Sarovar dam is concerned?

UK leader cites Indian farmers' struggle one of top global fights against neoliberal order

Counterview Desk  Jeremy Corbyn, member of the UK Parliament, former leader of the UK Labour Party and founder of the  Peace and Justice Project , in his  inaugural speech to the  Progressive International’s  Summit at the End of the World on May 12, 2022, has said, what is happening across globe suggests that "image of apocalypse -- bombs and raids, oil spills and wildfires, disease and contagion -- is a reality for people across the planet." In an adaptation of his speech, distributed by  Globetrotter , Corbyn, however, said, there are fresh examples action, too -- by Indian farmers forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw three neo-liberal laws;  by workers, communities and activists against the top giant multinational Amazon's "greed and exploitation"; and by Latin American people's struggle to say "no more to the domination by imperialism, the destruction of their communities and the abuse of their environments." Stating that this is n

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why is NIOH-ICMR 'official' making false claims on silicosis?: Health rights NGO

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, Dr Jagdish Parikh, trustee, health rights NGO People’s Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, and Jagdish Patel, director, PTRC, have said that the claim being made for the use of biomarker for detection of silicosis raises concern about scientific tenacity of the diagnosis of the deadly occupational disease. The letter also objects to the reported claim by a top health official that it is possible to detect silicosis at the sub-radiological stage. It asks, “What is this subradiological stage of silicosis? We have not heard any such scientific term being used. Again, the report is using a term which is not found in any scientific literature so far. Is this term acceptable by ICMR? Is ICMR thinking of any explanation?” Text : This is with reference to our letter dated November 28, 2021. In our communication we had raised our concern about the scientific tena

Welfare? Govt of India spends just 19% of manual scavengers' rehabilitation budget

By Bharat Dogra*  While the Dalit community has been always known for higher levels of poverty as well as social discrimination, even within the Dalits there is a sub-section known for even worse levels of poverty as well as social discrimination. This is the section which was traditionally involved in manual scavenging. The shocking injustice they have suffered from over the years has been widely recognized leading to a ban on manual scavenging. At the same time there is urgent need for the rehabilitation of those engaged in manual scavenging. Hence a self-employment scheme for the rehabilitation of those engaged in manual scavenging was drawn up. The allocations and the expenditure for this scheme for the last eight years are shown in the Table below: Union Budget for Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of  Manual Scavengers (in Rs crore) By Budget Estimate we mean the original allocation made when the budget is presented. It is clear from this table that the actual expenditure