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NEW: 'There Is No Work Here Under MGNREGS'

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

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, but I migrate often as work is not available in the village. I travel to Delhi for some months as it is easy to find a job there.

Q. Do your children travel with you? If yes, do they attend school at the destination and are there any problems in seeking school admission?

MGNREGS Worker: No, my family does not go with me. My family lives in this village and whenever there is work available in someone's house, my wife goes there.

Q. Have you tried to avail benefits of the Public Distribution System (PDS) at your workplace by using One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme?

MGNREGS Worker: No, I have not used the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme. I do not know about this scheme; what it is, what are its benefits. Whatever money I receive from the company, is used to feed both my family in the village and myself. My family uses the ration card in the village to get subsidised grains.

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

MGNREGS Worker: No, I have not faced any kind of challenge related to Aadhar card yet. Initially, the company asked us to open a bank account, which I did in Delhi itself. The banker had asked for my Aadhar card and opened the account.

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

MGNREGS Worker: I have been registered under MGNREGA in my village and I have a job card for the same from the government. We were told that 100 days of employment will be given for the whole year through this job card. Before COVID-19, we usually got work under the scheme. But now, there hasn’t been any work here for a long time because no project is happening in our Panchayat under MGNREGA.

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

MGNREGS Worker: When the work was happening under MGNREGA, the wages were paid within 15-20 days. But now, even for the little work that is made available, the wages are received after 2-3 months.

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

MGNREGS Worker: The government has never given us an unemployment allowance for the times when work is not available.

This interview was conducted with a MGNREGS Worker in Bihar on 27 October 2022, and has been translated.

Image Credits: Danish Siddiqui/ Reuters

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