With the Economy of India badly affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic add loss of jobs for lakhs of migrant workers during the lockdown, a scheme by the name of 'Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan' or 'Rural Job Scheme' was launched by the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in the district of Bihar earlier today to cope up with this problem. The scheme will support migrant workers and other rural workers by giving them jobs and livelihood support. The scheme was launched by the PM via video conferencing. The Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar was also present in the video conference when the scheme was launched.
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After the scheme was launched, Nitish Kumar informed the PM that he interacted with the migrant workers who came back to their homes in Bihar during the lockdown. He said that the workers now want to work in Bihar only and do not want to leave as migrant workers to other states. He also said that the scheme will be greatly beneficial for these workers and that it is a gift from the Central Government to them. He also promised to include these workers in other schemes of the Bihar State Government.
The scheme will provide 125 days of employment under 25 sub-schemes to the migrant workers of 116 districts. These 116 districts are spread across 6 states including Bihar. The other states are Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Odisha. The scheme aims to provide guaranteed employment to about 6.7 million migrant workers.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi interacted with some of these migrant workers and tried to understand the problems that they are currently facing. According to Prime Minister Modi, he got the idea from migrant workers that were quarantined in a school building in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh. Instead of wasting their time, they utilized their skills and painted the whole school as an act of gratitude. The PM addressed to all the migrant workers of Bihar and informed them that they will be getting jobs in their own state under the scheme, and urged them to use their talents and skills for taking their villages forward and for the overall development of Bihar.
This scheme also has a high political significance. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) will be looking forward to retaining power in Bihar after elections in the state later this year.
The scheme will mainly focus on the development in rural areas. It will contain projects such as the building of roads, the building of shelters for animals, drinking water supply, house constructions, the building of community toilets, and more in which the workers will be employed. The scheme has been launched with a budget of ₹50,000 Crores which is roughly half the budget for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), previously known as National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) which aims to provide 100-day employment to almost 140 million workers of rural areas. Some of the state governments have requested to increase the employment period to 150 days to provide jobs to many workers who have returned to their native places all over the country amid the lockdown.
The MGNREGA has seen a sharp rise in the number of people applying for jobs since May, due to the reason that many people have lost their jobs due to the lockdown. The new 'Rural Jobs Scheme' or the 'Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan' will help overcome the unemployment in rural areas to a large extent. This scheme will also give a boost to the Indian economy which is currently at a standstill. It will help many workers by giving them employment in their own states.