What does a JCB have to do with NREGS? It does. In fact, it (or should we call it – she), she is the biggest beneficiary of NREGS – at least in this part of Orissa.
Contractor gets contract from government under NREGS scheme. Ideally, under the scheme a contractor needs to get his work done from job card holders from the village. A beautiful model!
- 1. Contractor gets contract.
- 2. Goes to village, employs people for 7 (give-or-take-a-few) days.
- 3. Takes the Job Cards under the pretext of some requirement for disbursing the money.
- 4. Villagers get some money. But, don’t get the job cards back.
- 5. At night, the contractor brings up his A-game and A-grade worker – the JCB, which in a night does work equivalent to 10-15 man-days.
- 6. Work gets booked under NREGS.
- 7. JCB (read, contractor earns the proceeds)
For those who still refuse to belive this is happening in OUR India… have a look at 10 loopholes of NREGS implementation and a silver lining.
But, I say this is just 'A' truth. I have started believing that there are no absolute truths. Another truth is, the canteen owner (where I have my daily meals) does not get any interested people to work. Imagine! People living below-poverty-line for years, refuse to work as waiters in canteen at Rs 6000 per month! Their logic is simple. When they get foodgrains at Rs 2/kg, what is the need to sweat!
Yet another truth is that my interviews with village households reveals that their incomes have increased by Rs 1000 in the few months of implementation of NREGS. [Rs 1000 per annum is a significant income for these families with annual earnings of Rs 10,000 or less]
So is NREGS good? Orissa has been a case study in poor implementation of NREGS, still, it has helped the tribals to some extent.
There are more questions than answers. And, I am looking for questions, not answers.