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NEW: ‘My Family Needs Money and My Hands Need Work’

Q. Are you a resident of this village? If yes, have you ever migrated from here and for what reason?

MGNREGS Worker: Yes, I am a resident of this village. I have not migrated, but I go to other villages to work in others’ fields for work and wage. I have to go to other villages as my family needs money and my hands need work.

Q. Have you registered as a MGNREGS worker in your source city or destination site? Have you faced any problems with registering or availing work?

MGNREGS Worker: I registered for NREGA in my village. Earlier, a lot of work was available, but there isn’t much work to be found here now. Also, the wages under the scheme are very little, even when compared to other labour work. At the same time, the projects under NREGA run only for a short while, for the rest of the days, I have to work on others’ fields.

Q. Since you are registered under the MGNREGS, are you receiving your wages on time?

MGNREGS Worker: Yes, I used to timely receive the wages when work was available under the scheme. I feel there is not much work available at present.

Q. Is there a creche facility at the worksite? Do you bring your children to this facility?

MGNREGS Worker: When I go to work, I do not take my children along with me. Most of the women here do not take children to work, instead they send them to their relatives or a school or Anganwadi. The place I used to work at had no facility where we could leave our children.

Q. Were you provided with employment allowance if you did not get work after registering for MGNREGS?

MGNREGS Worker: No, I have not received any such allowance.

Q. If your Aadhaar is registered at your home village, have you faced any challenge in availing services at your place of work?

MGNREGS Worker: No, I haven’t faced any such challenges, but when I need to withdraw money using the Aadhar card from Maha e-Seva Kendra*, it does not register my thumbprint due to which I face problems. Also, I am not very educated, due to which I do not have much information about other schemes.

Q. What documents did the respective authorities ask from you for your children’s admission in school and for availing the benefits of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Public Distribution Scheme, and health related government schemes?

MGNREGS Worker: I do not go out much, my husband does all the outside work. I just work the fields and do other labour for wages. Now, I do not know what documents he gave in school. Yes, when my daughter was young, I used to go to the Anganwadi Centre to collect packets. The food rations are also brought by my husband. I do not know about the rest of the schemes.

This interview was conducted with a MGNREGS Worker in Maharashtra in Marathi on 23 September 2022, and has been translated.

Image Credits: Image by ManicSylph from Pixabay

* Maha e-Seva Kendras are Common Service Centres (CSCs) which provide various certificates, permits, licences and other services to citizens through MahaOnline, is a joint venture of Government of Maharashtra and Tata Consultancy Services.

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