NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) to NRSDA (National Rural Sustainable Development Act)

Economics, Organisation, Institution, Movement, Technology

NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) to NRSDA (National Rural Sustainable Development Act)

Sunny and Meeta

What is employment? Is it only unskilled daily labour like drought relief programs, building roads and earthen dams - that flow away every year or digging holes to plant trees that die in percentage of the high eighties. 22 years ago as a part of a volunteer program distributing food aid and simultaneously campaigning for afforestation on community lands in rural Udaipur district of Rajasthan, I as a urban metro youngster experienced the caste system and the culture of corruption the state had ingrained in every individual.This was before the much reviled LPG age (Liberalisation - Privatisation- Globalisation). The upper castes were not easy with walling/enclosing public land to keep away sheep/goat/cow herds as that would stop their slow ingress into "public" land belonging to the panchayat or state forest preserves into their private domain. And the contractor who was carrying on public works for small dam building or digging holes for tree planting, besides keeping 15 people for every 20 listed, also used much less cement . When I asked the local villagers that why don't they protest against shoddy work, they said that it's in our interest to build a dam that flows away in the first rain, so every year we get work! So we had a whole culture of subsidy that made everyone happy. .No one denies that in the last 20 years there have been umpteen successes like Ralegaon Siddi, Tarun Bhara...
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