The Indian government’s scheme for migrant workers, christened as ‘Garib
Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan’ (GKRA), has provided a total of about 21 crore mandays
employment to the intended recipients and Rs 16,768 crore has been spent on the
scheme in the first seven weeks since its inception.
A government official said the GKRA is taking action on a “mission mode”
to provide employment to migrant workers who have returned to their native
villages of 6 states – Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and
Uttar Pradesh. The scheme is empowering villagers with livelihood opportunities
in 116 districts of these states.
“In the pursuit of the objectives of the Abhiyaan, a large number of
structures have been created including 77974 water conservation structures,
2.33 lakh rural houses, 17933 cattle shed, 11372 farm ponds, and 3552 community
sanitary complexes. In addition, 6300 works have been taken up through District
Mineral Funds, 764 Gram Panchayats have been provided internet connectivity,
and 25487 candidates have been provided skill training through Krishi Vigyan
Kendras (KVKs) during the Abhiyaan,” the official said.
The GKRA’s success so far can be seen as convergent efforts of 12 Ministries and
state governments, which are giving higher quantum of benefits to the migrant
workers and rural communities, he added.
The scheme was launched to boost employment and livelihood opportunities for migrant workers returning to villages and similarly affected citizens in rural areas, in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. The stage is set for a longer term initiative for jobs and livelihoods for those who choose to stay back.
By -Murtuza Merchant