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MGNREGS: Agricultural Labour Association Appeals Govt to Increase Job Opportunities

Tamil Manila Vivasaya Tholilalar Sangam's plea to the T.N. government seeks to address the challenges faced by the hill communities in finding sustainable livelihoods.

Shivam Dwivedi
Agricultural Labour Association Appeals Govt to Increase Job Opportunities under MGNREGS (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Agricultural Labour Association Appeals Govt to Increase Job Opportunities under MGNREGS (Photo Source: Pixabay)

In a bid to alleviate unemployment and uplift the living conditions of the marginalized communities residing in hilly regions, the Tamil Manila Vivasaya Tholilalar Sangam has called upon the Tamil Nadu government to strengthen the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

The association's Erode District (North) conducted its inaugural conference at Gobichettipalayam, where the need for generating adequate jobs in the hill areas was emphasized. The conference was inaugurated by S. Mohan Kumar, the district secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), reflecting the collective effort by different groups to address the pressing issue of unemployment faced by many in the region.

The Sangam highlighted that a significant portion of the population in hilly areas, specifically in Talavadi, Kadambur, and Bargur, belong to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and are living below the poverty line. Unlike their counterparts in the plains, agriculture in hilly regions is heavily reliant on seasonal rainfall, leaving the land unproductive for around eight months each year. Consequently, the livelihoods of most inhabitants revolve around the wages earned through the MGNREGS.

Recognizing the importance of MGNREGS work for the hill communities, the association passed a resolution underscoring the necessity of carrying out employment-generating activities such as planting saplings, land levelling, constructing embankments, and creating ponds to bolster public infrastructure in these areas.

However, Sangam noted that the effectiveness of the MGNREGS in hilly regions is hampered by the negligence of village panchayats and block-level officers. Due to the lack of proper evaluation and follow-through, work orders are not promptly obtained, leading to irregular job opportunities for the residents. To address this issue, the Sangam urged the authorities to take prompt action and ensure the seamless execution of MGNREGS projects to benefit the thousands of workers in the region.

Furthermore, the association called on the government to establish additional clusters in the hilly areas, aiming to expand job opportunities and alleviate unemployment rates. This move would not only provide much-needed employment but also contribute to the overall development of these remote regions. To ensure the success of the scheme in hilly areas, the Sangam emphasized the need for the district administration to prioritize and monitor the implementation of projects closely.

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