Times of India, March 23, 2013

Only 7 per cent of MGNREGA job card holders in the state are aware that if the state is unable to provide work under the Central scheme then they are eligible for an unemployment allowance. Only 17 per cent are aware about the mandatory ‘form 6’ that needs to be filled for getting a job under the Act while only 16 per cent know that the work must be provided within 15 days of the demand.

These and many more surprising facts came to light during a survey conducted by the ‘Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS),’ a Jaipur-based consumer organization that is implementing a project ‘Contributing towards Corruption Free and Transparent Service Delivery in MGNREGS’.

The survey revealed that only 12 per cent of MGNREGA card holders are aware that the work should be provided within the radius of 5 km from the village, only 71 per cent of them know about the provision of 100 days of job while only 57 per cent know about the full wage rate of scheme.

The objective of the CUTS project is to ensure inclusion of all MGNREGA card holders within the Central scheme, to ensure that all card holders are getting all entitlements like guaranteed days of work, wages, allowances and facilities at the worksites, and to ensure effective participation of the card holders at all stages of MGNREGS so as to have reduced corruption in MGNREGS in Jaipur and Tonk districts of Rajasthan.

The intervention was done in 325 villages of 65 gram panchayats which covered around 17,000 households and 45,000-48,000 job cards holders of MGNREGS. During the whole duration of the project a total of 150 community meetings were conducted and around 41 right to information (RTI) applications were filed which helped in resolving around 700 out of 750 complaints related to entitlements and 35 out of 150 complaints related to corruption.

The survey also noticed that majority of workers (62 per cent) demand jobs orally and 85 per cent of workers did not fill any form before getting a job. The average number of working days was around 54 and the average wage rate was Rs 94 per person per day which is too less than the wage rate of Rs 119.

There are several communities and villages which are still not included in the schemes and these communities are Gadoliya Luhar, Kalbeliya, Kanjar, Sansi, Bhand and Bagariya. Though many of these have job cards but most of them do not have any work.

This news item can also be viewed at: