Nagrik Sahayata Kendra (NSK) or citizen help desks under the Jharkhand government’s Zero Hunger Panchayat project have come to the rescue of the vulnerable people of the state.
The NSKs help such people access their rights by bridging service accessibility gaps and ensuring accountability of service delivery systems.
The citizen help desks were formed in November 2021 but became operational in 80 blocks of Jharkhand in early 2022 as part of the Zero Hunger Panchayat initiative which saw the rural development department inking an understanding with a consortium of civil society organisations (CSOs).
“In a span of over a year and a half, the NSKs across 80 blocks have received 1,01,375 applications and nearly 78,220 cases have been redressed with a redressal percentage of 77 per cent. The cases are mostly on MGNREGA, National Food Security Act, pension schemes, issuance of birth, death, income, Aadhaar and residence certificates and issuance of e-shram (for workers in the unorganised sector) cards,” said Archana Toppo of the PHIA Foundation, which is one of the CSOs implementing the scheme.
Zero Hunger Panchayat aims to make vulnerable people across 100 blocks of the state get access to public schemes focussed on food, nutrition, livelihood and social security through the establishment of the NSK.
“NSK is acting as a bridge between administration and communities by creating an enabling environment at identified blocks of Jharkhand, to support vulnerable people to access their rights and entitlements by bridging the service accessibility gaps and ensuring accountability of the service delivery systems,” added Archana.
A day-long workshop was held in Ranchi on Monday to share the learnings of the NSK for the past one-and-a-half years and provide a platform for initiating a dialogue for inter-agency coordination and collaboration to scale up NSK as a grievance redressal mechanism across other blocks of the Jharkhand.