Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Labor Lost in NREGA

Let me take the story further from my visit to Chak-Bhabanipur. Take the case of Sushil Tudu. His Job Card number is: WB-18-008-008-015/80815152. If we check his card in the website of NREGA (www.nrega.nic.in) it shows that he worked from 18 June 2007 for 6 days and from 27 June for 5 days in 2009. The site shows that he had been paid for those 11 days. Check his Job Card. It tells different story. He had worked only for 6 days from 18 June 2009, and had been paid for 6 days.  Now, can anyone explain me what happened to the salary for other five days. Similar stores are on for Budhni Murmu and Lakshi Murmu. As I mentioned in my previous blog, these people had not worked since 2009 because neither the Job Card nor the bank account is with them! I instructed the local NGO partner to check in the internet if their accounts with the post office are still operational and if the people can go with that number to start a fight with the post master. (Photos : Above the payment page of the Job Card of Sushil Tudu, and below, the tattered page from the Job Card of Lakshi Murmu)

I also sat down with the staff of the local NGO to explain that indeed people can apply for job under NREGA online! Me moved into Jagtala where we met a few more tribal and scheduled caste families. The situation wasn't much different. But the only marked difference was some of these Scheduled caste families had done work as recently as last month. We went to the local government office. And we saw large write ups on a wall explaining the NREGA program. The first said about rights and duties of the people, except that item 2 and five were almost wiped out. A clear reading of it said: "The Job Card must be with the family and no one else must keep them", and "At the place of work there must be facility for water, rest, shade and facility for taking care of children". Well, you can understand why these were not clearly written.

The second writing on the wall gave very complicated detail on how the job (purely relating to digging) will be measured. I just couldn't understand it. Neither anyone in the vicinity. I called a friend of mine who works with the government in the NREGA cell of the district. But he did not respond to my call. Can anyone make sense of it? I have attached a photo of the same. Would be happy if someone can explain this to me.

No comments: