Rural Employment Act improving living conditions in Kullu villages

March 13th, 2009 - 7:54 pm ICT by ANI  

By Prem Chauhan
Chansari Village (Kullu), Mar 13 (ANI): The living conditions of rural people in Himachal Pradesh’’s Kullu District has improved drastically, thanks to the application of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).
Several development works are being executed to improve the standard of living in these rural areas.
Take for example, Chansari Village in Kullu District. This village has experienced positive changes in the employment sector since the introduction of NREGA.
Under the NREGA scheme, a water reservoir is being constructed for which 16 men from the village have been employed. The villagers are quite content with the income they are getting.
“We are working here for the last 20-25 days. This reservoir is for the benefit of the villagers. Whatever money the government provides us for our work, we receive it within 15 days. This reservoir will not only benefit the poor people by giving them employment, but it would also prove beneficial for the whole village,” claimed Shyam Sharma, a resident.
The scheme’’s success has stopped villagers from going out of their villages in search of work.
“The response is quite good, as I have seen, especially in remote areas, that people go to the cities in search of work. But here, people are not searching for work as they are getting jobs sitting at home. They are even getting work as per their choice. This has generated an interest among them to work,” claimed Chhimi Angmo, the Block Development Officer in Kullu.
The NREGA, also known as National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), was implemented in all 206 villages of Kullu District in April 2008.
Recently, the Union Minister for Rural Development, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had said in the Rajya Sabha that 2.7 million households have already been given employment for hundred days in the first phase of the NREGA scheme.
Around 3.6 million more households benefited in the second phase and another 2.7 million households in the third phase of the implementation of the scheme.
According to data available, 49 per cent of women, 30 per cent of Scheduled Castes and 25 per cent of Scheduled Tribes have benefited from the scheme so far.
In fact, this scheme, aims to tackle the problem of rural unemployment. It has also encouraged traditional handicraft industries, like textile weaving and bamboo work.
With elections round the corner, the effort is to spread awareness among rural households about their legal right to hundred days of employment every year under the scheme. (ANI)

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