Covid-19 forced the nation to face lockdown to control the spread of novel coronavirus. Everyone was stuck where they were. The lockdown was expected to end in a couple of weeks, but it had to be extended to control the virus from infecting masses. Among those who were affected the most by the lockdown were the migrant workers and daily wagers.
Understanding their pain and need for urgent employment, the Government of India announced a 125-day employment program named Gareeb Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan. The program was commenced on June 20, 2020. The government is planning to use the program as the base to provide employment to migrant workers beyond 125 days and explore possibilities of expanding it in all states.
Uttar Pradesh’s star performance under GKRA
Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has done exceptionally good work under GKRA. The implementation of the program started on June 21. So far, the government has spent 9,329.57 Crores on the project and generated 10,58,17,358 Person-days. In September 2020, the UP government bagged eight awards for the programs launched under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti. The state also secured the second rank in the overall implementation of the Gandagi Mukt Bharat scheme. The state was ranked number one in providing jobs to migrant workers.
About Gareeb Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan
In his address on May 31, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government is planning to launch a program for migrant workers. The program was established for six states, namely Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan, where the number of migrant workers was more than anticipated. One hundred sixteen districts in these six states saw a significant boost in employment under the project. The Central Government allotted a total of 50,000 crores for the project.
Twelve ministries and 25 work and activities
A total of twelve ministries are providing employment and support for the project. These ministries are Department of Rural Development, Department of Drinking water and sanitation, Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Department of Telecommunication, Department of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Mines, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of Petroleum and Ministry of Defence.
The employment is provided in 25 categories that are Community Sanitary Complex, Gram Panchayat Bhawan, Works under Finance Commission funds, National Highway works, Water conservation & Harvesting works, Construction of Wells, Plantation (including through CAMPA Funds), Horticulture, Anganwadi Centers, Rural Housing(PMAY–Gramin), Rural connectivity (PMGSY) & Border road works, Railway works, Laying of Fiber Optic Cable under Bharat Net, Works under Jal Jeevan Mission, Farm ponds, Cattle sheds, Goat Sheds, Poultry sheds, and several others.
Under GKRA, the government is not only providing jobs but also providing training to the workers based on their skills and choice of work. The government is helping the workers to find employment in their native place so that they do not have to leave their homes for work. So far, the government has spent Rs.39,292.81 crore and generated 50,78,68,671 person-hours in all six states.