Explained: UP, Bihar, Bengal see biggest jump in new NREGA job cards -Harikishan Sharma

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published Published on Sep 13, 2020   modified Modified on Sep 13, 2020

-The Indian Express

Consider this: From April to August, over 83 lakh additional households or 1.6 crore persons joined the NREGA labour force by getting job cards, taking the number of families under the scheme to an all-time high of 14.36 crore.

This summer, as millions of migrants returned to their villages amid a rise in Covid cases, another chart climbed steadily: the number of households enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

Consider this: From April to August, over 83 lakh additional households or 1.6 crore persons joined the NREGA labour force by getting job cards, taking the number of families under the scheme to an all-time high of 14.36 crore.

While the demand for unskilled work under NREGS had been steadily rising in recent years amid the economic slowdown, it soared to unprecedented levels during the pandemic.

Data show 5.79 crore households availed NREGS between April 1 and September 10 during the current financial year — the highest since the scheme was launched on February 2, 2006.

Behind these numbers lie the story of how NREGA has emerged as a safety net for lakhs of households across the country at a time of deep social and economic distress amid the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.

According to government estimates, more than 67 lakh migrants have returned to 116 districts across six states — Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha — where the Centre had launched the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan.

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The Indian Express, 13 September, 2020, https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/up-bihar-bengal-see-biggest-jump-in-new-nrega-job-cards-6593688/


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