MGNREGS brings cheer to differently-abled people
By V NarayanaMurthi - VELLORE
04th December 2012 10:49 AM
The recent inclusion of differently-abled persons in the rural areas, especially those with less education, in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has given them a new lease of life. As many as 830 of the 4,000 differently-abled people living in rural pockets of the district, have been enrolled in the scheme, and have been attending work for the past three months.
Depending on the type and level of disability, they are being given jobs as waterman/water woman at the worksite, care takers of children of the workers, worksite facilitators, and minor work such as clearing bushes, light earthwork, watering the area to be desilted and light spade work. While their remuneration is at par with others, the duration of work is only 4 hours as against 8 hours for others.
N Srinivasan, project director of District Rural Development Agency implementing the MGNREGS, said that the feeling that the differently-abled persons could also earn independently under this scheme had given them a lot of confidence and better social status in the community.
Balayogi (30) of Seenur village, who had lost his right hand, said, “Earlier, I was idle in the village and incurred the wrath of my family and neighbours. Today, I am an earning member and I command respect.”
Srinvasan said that necessary training was provided to field officials on creating work site facilities such as shade, medical first aid and drinking water wherever differently-abled persons were employed. All the differently-abled persons in the scheme would be made to undergo health checks twice a month. Field supervisors are also expected to ensure that the differently-abled people are treated well and not harassed at worksites.
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