NREGA turns saviour for corona-hit workers in Andhra Pradesh

As many as 3.3L new job cards were issued for 5.53L beneficiaries in the state between April and September

VIJAYAWADA: Even as Covid-19 has subject people to financial difficulties, ray of hope has come in the form of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which is helping to cope up with the crisis.

Migrant workers, who returned to their native places, initially faced hardships and later NREGA works helped them during the Corona crisis. According to reports from April to September, as many as 3.30 lakh new job cards were issued for 5.53 lakh beneficiaries providing work and income in all the 13 districts.

According to reports, as on October 20, about 13.62 crore households in the country received the job cards with a guarantee of employment to 26.03 crore individuals. Of them, only 13.19 crore workers from 8.57 crore households are regularly seeking work under the programme.

In Andhra Pradesh, 1.22 crore individuals from 67 lakh households received job cards, which included 24.37 percent SCs and 8.92 percent STs.
LibTech India, a collective team of engineers, social workers, and social scientists, Chakradhar Buddha, Ranadheer Malla, and Venkata Krishna Kagga prepared the report, MGNREGA in Andhra Pradesh- Implementation Status (April- September 2020).

According to the data compiled latest by October 20, the government was able to provide 20.73 crore person-days between April and September, which is a 35 per cent increase when compared to the 15.35 crore person days last year for the same period. Due to the increase in person days, more than 3 lakh households complete their 100 days of guaranteed work while all households received an average 44 days of work in the pandemic period and received wages that overall aggregated to Rs 4,861 crore.

Interestingly, 3.30 lakh new job cards had been issued during the pandemic, which shows an increase in demand for NREGA job cards.

Beneficiaries G Ramu and K Nageswar Rao said that they were doing various works in Hyderabad and earning well till corona struck a terrible blow. They recalled that they faced a lot of difficulties during the first and second phase of lockdown and returned home.

They said that they remained without work and later they got NREGA job cards, which helped them earn livelihood in their native place.
The officials informed that when compared to last year for the same period (April-September), 580 of the 661 participating mandals provided more employment due to increase in demand.

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