A study of National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme in three Grama Panchayats of Kasaragod District
Nair, K. N.
Sreedharan, T. P.
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This paper attempts to study the impact of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme in three Grama Panchayats of Kasaragod District,namely Madikai, Ajanoor and Trikarpur. It also looks into the organizational arrangements for planning and implementation of the scheme. Various institutional aspects in the form of Guidelines, Rules and Regulations brought out by the Government of Kerala have also been examined. The identification of projects for NREGA is a grass root level activity with Ward Development Committee and Area Development Society of Kudumbasree playing a pivotal role. The role of Grama Sabha in the formulation of a ward level Action Plan is found to be weak. The worker registration is appreciably good in all the three Grama Panchayats. Registration of SC and ST categories also is impressive. But there is a big drop in the number of people who demanded jobs in 2007- 08. It is below one fourth in two Panchayats and just above one third in the third Panchayat. There is a further drop in the number in the succeeding year. The rosy part is that all those who demanded jobs have been provided with jobs. The percentage of man-days generated for SC and ST categories is very low compared to that of the general category. Women of the general category constituted the major beneficiaries of NREGA. Unskilled wages constituted the major component of expenditure. The number of projects is large, most of them not leading to creation of public durable assets. There is lack of integration with other schemes implemented at local level. The scheme is successful in raising the level of employment and income of the rural household, there by enhancing their purchasing power. Working in groups has empowered the women socially. In some cases NREGA works and agricultural works were operational at the same time aggravating the problem of labour shortage in agriculture. The study recommends a few changes in the existing operational system to make the programme more effective. Key words: Kasaragod, Kudumbasree, NREGA, women empowerment. JEL Classification: E24, J38