Mgnrega: A Way to Meet RURAL Urban Divide

Friday, 20 July 2018: 15:50
Oral Presentation
Prakash DILARE, Gautam Buddha University, India
Dr. MANUSHI, Indian Institue of Mass Communication, India
As majority of the poor in rural parts of the country depend mainly on daily wages as unskilled labour thus living on the threshold of subsistence and vulnerable to the possibility of sinking from transient to chronic poverty in the event of inadequate labour demand or in the face of unpredictable crises like natural disasters or personal like ill-health, all of which adversely impact their employment opportunities. This grave scenario demanded the need to evolve a mechanism to supplement existing livelihood sources in rural areas. The Government implemented wage employment programmes that offered wage employment on public works with minimum wages. In context of poverty & unemployment, wage employment programmes provide unskilled manual workers with short-term employment on public works such as irrigation infrastructure, reforestation, soil conservation, road construction etc. These programmes provide income transfers to poor households during critical times especially in slack agricultural seasons.. Durable assets created under these programmes have the potential to generate sustainable livelihood. Based on the experience of wage employment programmes Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was enacted to reinforce the commitment towards livelihood security in rural areas. The mandate of MGNREGA is to provide 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year (FY) to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. MGNREGA aims to provide a steady source of income and livelihood security for the poor, vulnerable and marginalized sections of the society. The Act brings with it huge opportunities of making a difference in the lives of millions of rural household. The paper attempts to demonstrate the impact of MGNREGA with special reference to its impact in bridging the rural urban divide.