Q: When did you return to the village and how did you come?
Beneficiary: I came back home during the lockdown. I had to walk for several kilometers and then a person on a bike gave me a lift. I could reach home because of him.
Q: Are you a Public Distribution System beneficiary and were you able to get free ration during the lockdown period? If not, is your card being made?
Beneficiary: I have been living outside the village so I was not getting the free ration after coming back. However, my other family members are registered so they got the ration.
I have asked the Panchayat to add my name also in the ration card.
Q: What are your means of earning a livelihood now that you are back in the village? Are you planning to register for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)?
Beneficiary: I had no work during the lockdown and I faced a lot of problems. However, now construction work has started in the village so I do get work.
I am not planning to register under the MGNREGS. It pays very little, and it’s difficult to manage all the family expenses with that small amount.
Q: When do you plan on returning to the city?
Beneficiary: The situation is really bad because of COVID-19 so there are no plans of going back right now.
This interview was conducted with a potential MGNREGS beneficiary in Solan, Himachal Pradesh in Hindi on 26 July 2020, and has been translated.