Birsa and Karan Uraon saw a phase where they struggled to make ends meet, but a rare example of effective government policy has given them sustainable livelihood. The duo hails from Ita-Chindri village of Bero block in Ranchi. The Jharkhand government has designated the village as MGNREGA park due to the successful implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act there. The villagers have been receiving guaranteed employment for at least 20 days every month.
The locals are working in more than 10 MGNREGA category jobs in the village. People are employed in the works of irrigation wells, vermicompost, mango horticulture and other non-skilled jobs. The MGNREGA work is spread into 40 hectares of land in Ita-Chindri, and has come as a dependable source of income for the locals amid the Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged the rural economy.
Bero’s Block Development Officer (BDO) Praveen Kumar said the sprawling MGNREGA work in Ita-Chindri village is a testament of hard work by locals and intentions of the government. Kumar informed that the success of Ita-Chindri has now empowered the administration to develop another MGNREGA park in Bero’s Lamkana village. If the government manages to build MGNREGA parks in every village in Jharkhand, it could bring a transformational change in the rural economy of the state.
MGNREGA was brought by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2006 to ensure the right to work for people living in the rural parts of the country. It aims to provide at least 100 days of non-skilled work every year to those who register themselves under MGNREGA.
MGNREGA also acted as a shield for rural households during the Covid-19 pandemic which saw millions of people losing their jobs. However, people who get work under this scheme have continuously requested the government to increase the work days.