Few takers for jobs under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has prompted the state rural development department to seek help from the mass media in generating awareness about benefits among the village populace.
Speaking to mediapersons in Ranchi on Thursday evening, state MGNREGS commissioner Arun said: “Our mandays target till September was 3.20 crore. However, we have been able to generate only 2.15 crore of mandays so far because the demand for jobs has been sluggish.”
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme cell, under the state rural development department, has fixed a target of 6.18 crore mandays for the 2013-14 financial year.
A total of Rs 1,509 crore has been allotted to the state under the Union government sponsored scheme this year, while the expenditure has been only Rs 440 crore so far.
The MGNREGS commissioner also urged the media to highlight different areas where jobs could be generated.
“Write about streams, ponds and reservoirs that are dying and need immediate attention. The rural development department will initiate steps and create job opportunities for villagers,” he added.
The MGNREGS commissioner said the cell was now going for convergence with the state drinking water and sanitation department to stimulate expenditure under the job scheme.
Under the convergence programme, a villager will be given Rs 4,600 under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and Rs 4,500 under MGNREGS to set up a toilet, while he or she would have to contribute Rs 900 only.
Arun also said the MGNRGS cell was now promoting apna khet, apna kam concept.
Under this initiative, each beneficiary villager will be able to take up work in his own land under the rural job scheme.
The beneficiary will be able to take up land development, construction of wells, ponds et al. A villager can also engage other villagers for such work. The department will provide funds to the beneficiaries under the scheme.
“In this way, villagers will be able to create assets for themselves as well as earn livelihood,” Arun said.