Right2Information

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RTI Act Exposes Irregularities in NREGA Scheme in Gujarat

Posted by rtiact2005 on June 16, 2006

Paid just Rs 4 per day under rural job scheme, widow moves Gujarat HC

KAMRAN SULAIMANI

Posted online: Thursday, June 15, 2006 at 0000 hrs

AHMEDABAD, JUNE 14:A widow from Sabarkantha has filed the first petition in Gujarat High Court against irregularities in paying minimum wages under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) scheme. The court is likely to hear it on Friday.

In her petition filed on Monday, Mashurben Makwana, of Balisana village in Prantij taluka, has said she was being paid Rs 4 per day instead of the Rs 60 stipulated under the scheme. She said she was also asked to get her own digging implements, for which she had to sell her jewellery.

The case has been filed by her and voluntary group Sabar Ekta Manch, with assistance from Janpath, a voluntary group from Ahmedabad. Advocate Mukul Sinha is appearing for her.

The NREG scheme of the UPA government promises at least 100 days of employment every financial year to adults who volunteer for unskilled manual labour in districts chosen under it.

Mashurben , the sole breadwinner for five boys and a girl, was enrolled in the scheme from February 20 to March 10.

But her dreams were shattered when she received her first payment.‘‘They paid less than Rs 4 per day. That too it was only after two months,’’ she said.

In fact, she was unaware that she should have been paid Rs 60 daily till Sabar Ekta Manch filed an application under the Right to Information Act.

The Manch alleges there are others like her: Chauhansinh Shivsinh Somsinh, Sadhusinh Jawansinh, and Bhavansinh Kesrisinh were all paid Rs 3-10 per day, and Ramanbhai Somabhai of Nanachekda village (Talod taluka) was paid only Rs 3 per day. “The whole thing is a fraud, poor workers are being misled,” said their advocate Sinha. “Either the government should provide minimum wages or stop this scheme.”

Before going to court, the Manch had informed V K Saxena, the Supreme Court-appointed adviser overseeing NREGA .

Asked about Mashurben’s case, Banaskantha district development officer Anupam said: ‘‘There are people who get more than Rs 67 per day. It depends on how much a person can work. No one is paid Rs 60 for not doing anything. ’’

kamran.sulaimani@expressindia.com

One Response to “RTI Act Exposes Irregularities in NREGA Scheme in Gujarat”

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