'Kaam Mango Abhiyan' aims to popularise the ambitious flagship programme of the UPA government
In the view of the declining demand of work under the ambitious Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Union Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has launched a campaign “Kaam Mango Abhiyan”, which literally means “ask for work”.
Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh launched the awareness campaign last week. To begin with, the focus will be on six districts—Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh, Nashik in Maharashtra, Raichur in Karnataka, Katihar in Bihar, West Singhbum in Jharkhand and Sundergarh in Odisha. This will present a model for a nationwide campaign that will be launched on February 2, 2014, the MGNREGA Day.
Ramesh has written to chief ministers of the six states to “use the opportunity to motivate all stakeholders in realising the benefits conferred under the Act” and “create good models that can benefit a large number of poor households”. He also urged them to personally lead this effort and extend it to all districts of the states. The campaign, launched on the recommendation of Program Advisory Group for Implementation of MGNREGA, also involves non-government organisations and civil societies to spread awareness about the Act among people to realise its potential. The government plans to train officials and institutionalise the monthly Rozgar Diwas (employment day) in every panchayat as part of the campaign.
As per the MoRD report, the total demand for work under MGNREGA in the last seven years was 302.8 million, but only 299.8 million households have been employed. On an average, most households got 44 days of work a year. Only 8 per cent of the households got the guaranteed 100 days of employment (https://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/job-half-done.
Kamayani Swami of Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan (JJSS), a trade union in Bihar that facilitates implementation of schemes under MGNREGA, says, “The demand of work under MGNREGA has not declined. The government has failed to capture the demand.” At present, the government shows the demand based on a mere anticipation to start new work. So it is not properly registered. Panchayat officials will now have to provide proper slips to people demanding work under MGNREGA, showing registration of their demand, she adds. JJSS, which is a member of the resource cell of the Program Advisory Group, will visit 230 panchayats in Katihar district in two phases to spread awareness about Kaam Mango Abhiyan.
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