Implementing MGNREGA for Changing the lives of the rural poor: a study of Madhya Chowkhat /Hatigarh Gaon Panchayat in Jorhat district. By Mrs. Nilima Bora Economics Department Jorhat College. INTRODUCTION
After more than half a century of planned economic development and high level of aggregate growth over the last two decades we can’t outright say that the country’s vast rural sector has shown any spectacular progress or advancement. In fact, India has demonstrated a static progress as lakhs of villages inhabited by crores of farmers; tenants etc have not experienced any fruit of planned development. As we know that it is impossible to bring about social and human development in the midst of economic deprivation and a major factor behind it is unemployment (and also underemployment and disguised unemployment). Unemployed persons lack economic empowerment which deprives them and also those persons dependent on the former, of access to goods and services required for their wellbeing. The government of India which is always aware of the dismal rural economic scenerio has left no stone unturned to fight out the hurdles on the way to rural development during the planning period beginning in 1951. The implementation of the trail-blazing act Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act also aims at the improvement of livelihood status and wage employment among the poor and thereby bringing cheers to the lives of the millions of rural poor. The goals of NREGA are …. A) Strong social safety net for the vulnerable groups by providing fall-back employment source, when other employment alternatives are scarce or inadequate. B) To strengthen the natural resource base of rural livelihood and create durable assets in rural areas. C) `To empower rural poor through the process of rights-based law. D) To find out new ways of doing business, as a model of governance reform anchored on the principles of transparency and grass root democracy.
Launched on 2nd February 2006 from the Anantapur district of Andhrapradesh simultaneously the Act was notified in 200 districts, and then extended to additional 130 districts in 2007-08. The remaining districts have been notified under the NREGA with effect from April 1, 2008. In Jorhat district the act was notified in the 3rd phase of its implementation. Hence NREGA has completed four years of its run in the country benefitting over 10 crores rural households. As an ambitious scheme of the government it is the biggest public employment scheme in the history of mankind. As an act NREGA gives a legal guarantee of employment in rural areas to anyone from the group below poverty line who is willing to do casual manual labor at the statutory minimum wage. Any adults who applies for wok under the act is entitled to be employed in public works within 15 days, failing that an unemployment allowance has to be paid. The act envisages providing of 100 days employment to those adults. The act also mandates 33 percent women participation .Investment model under MGNREGA are expected to generate employment and purchasing power , raise economic productivity , promote women’s participation in the work force , strengthen the rural infrastructure through the creation...
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