Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a campaign to generate jobs, mimicking the MGNREGA of UPA Government 1 that he had been so critical of while campaigning for his election in 2014. Called the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan, the scheme started with Telihar village in Khagaria district of Bihar.
Prime Minister Modi began his address with a tribute to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the line of duty in Ladakh. He assured that the whole country stood in solidarity with the families of the heroes.
Addressing the ‘garib‘ constituency
Selecting Bihar in view of the state assembly election due later this year, Modi explained these scheme under the Garib Kalyan Yojana under four broad classifications. The prime minister said, “When the crisis of the coronavirus epidemic struck, the plight of the people was foremost among the concerns of the state and the central government. We ran special trains for the migrant workers of the country.”
“The world was aghast, given the magnitude of the pandemic and the devastation it brought, but you stood firm. The way the villages of India have challenged the epidemic, they taught the cities a lesson,” the prime minister said, adding that the villagers had been largely successful in controlling the spread of the virus.
Catering to the ‘garib‘ constituency, the prime minister reminded that the 80-85 crore people of India lived in its villages, “which is more than the whole of Europe, the US, Russia and Australia”. “It is a great thing that this big a population can put up a strong fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID).”
The prime minister appreciated and thanked the panchayats, “our democratic systems, medical facilities, wellness centres and cleanliness campaign” for having played important roles in curbing the epidemic.
New machine for 1,500 tests every day
“I have been told that the day after tomorrow (22 June), a big modern machine to test coronavirus infection is going to be inaugurated in Patna,” the prime minister said. “It is possible to conduct about 1,500 tests with this machine,” he said.
“āj garib ke kalyān ke liye, uske rozgār ke liye bahut baRā abhiyān shuru huā hai (Today a huge campaign has started for the welfare of the poor, for his employment),” the prime minister said.
“It is dedicated to the youth and the working class in our villages,” Modi said and added that the scheme would benefit also those who have returned to their villages during the lockdown.
‘Workers inspired this scheme’
“I saw a news report from Uttar Pradesh,” Prime Minister Modi said, “Some workers were stationed there in quarantine. They specialised in dyeing and painting and POP work. They thought it was better to make use of their skills rather than lie idle.”
“They turned a school beautiful by painting its walls. This inspired me and the idea of the plan crossed my mind,” the prime minister said, exuding confidence in the working class.
Concrete houses for the garib
Under the scheme, pucca (concrete) houses will be built for the poor in different villages, the prime minister said in his address. In other places, sheds will be built, he said. “Somewhere, the scheme will take the water-life mission forward,” he said.
Emphasising the construction of roads, Modi said panchayat buildings will be constructed where there is none. “Modern facilities will reach our villages. It is necessary to have cheap and fast internet in the village so that our children can read (from different sources). Villages, in fact, are using the internet more than the cities. Fibre cables have arrived in villages. Villagers will get the work related to fibre cables. Only you will get these jobs,” the prime minister assured.
Garib Kalyan Rozgar in Q&A
What is the purpose of the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan?
The purpose of the Garib Kalyan Rozgar is to provide employment and self-employment to the workers according to their interest and skills.
How many districts in how many states will benefit?
The purpose will benefit 116 districts of six states. These comprise 32 districts in Bihar, 31 in Uttar Pradesh, 24 in Madhya Pradesh, 22 in Rajasthan, four in Odisha and three in Jharkhand.
About 88 lakh migrant labourers have returned from other states.
Why have more districts been included from Bihar?
Assembly elections are due in Bihar later this year. There is a JDU-BJP coalition government here.
How many days of employment does the Garib Kalyan Rozgar fetch?
Under the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan, there is a plan to provide employment for 125 days a year.
What is the budget for the plan?
The Modi government has allocated Rs 50,000 crore for the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan. The scheme offers workers 25 types of jobs according to merit.
The works include road construction, rural housing, horticulture, plantation, water conservation and irrigation, Anganwadi, panchayat buildings and water life missions.
Whose government is there in the 6 states where the scheme is being implemented?
Of the six states, BJP rules Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Bihar has a BJP-JDU coalition government. The INC rules Rajasthan while Biju Janata Dal (BJD) governs Odisha and the JMM-INC-RJD coalition runs Jharkhand.
How many migrant labourers returned to these states?
Uttar Pradesh: more than 35 lakh
Madhya Pradesh: More than 25 lakh
Bihar: More than 15 lakh
Jharkhand: more than 2 lakh
Rajasthan: More than 10 lakh
Odisha: More than a lakh
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme of the communist MP-supported UPA government led by the Indian National Congress offered jobs under the broad categories of watersheds, irrigation and flood management works, agricultural and livestock-related works, fisheries and works in coastal areas and the rural drinking water and sanitation-related works. Prime Minister Modi’s Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan includes several of these categories and adds fibre cabling to it, which even the INC must have added in due course if it had stayed in power.