Many a times, lack of work and sustainable income generation opportunities push villagers to migrate to other places for work, especially daily wagers. This disturbs family balance, health and education opportunities and is not a viable long term solution. MGNREGS works and creation of assets have provided opportunities to citizens in rural India to earn wages and have a source of sustainable income thus restoring village life. This is a case study from Kandipudi,village under Buchaiapet mandal of Visakhapatnam district which earlier had a very high rate of out-migration but, with the increase in assets, villagers are able to earn a living in their own village.
Most people in Kandipudi village do not own land and worked as daily labourers. The works selected under MGNREGS included promotion of rain water harvesting pits, creation of farm pond, silt removal in the tank and trenches, land-levelling of grounds in the school and Anganwadi centre, construction of Anganwadi school, cement concrete roads and avenue plantation on both sides of the roads. The local people were given the opportunity to enrol themselves as daily wage labourers and they welcomed the initiative as they could earn locally and this addressed the major problem of migration in the area.
Kandipudi village is surrounded by several hills. Earlier, in the absence of any structure, there was high run off of rain water. With the help of farm ponds and culverts, the rain-water is now harvested and stored, allowing the people to cultivate small crops such as vegetables. The village also has cement concrete roads and an Anganwadi school building. The local school ground was levelled through MGNREGS and is now being used by the children to play. Overall, the ambience of the village has improved because of plantation works that were also taken up under MGNREGS.
The success of MGNREGS works and restoration of village life in Kandipudi is a matter of great pride and learning amongst the MGNREGS functionaries working on the planning and implementation of the programme.
“There is a lot of water in the tank now which enables the people to cultivate in their small landholdings. We are trying to replicate this work in other villages where there are hills and the rain water can be harvested. Kandipudi has emerged as a model work even for the people to join the programme and develop their villages,” – Appalaraju, APO, Buchaiapet mandal.
VOICES FROM THE FIELD
“We have no agriculture lands and earn as labourers in other villages where we have to go often in search of work. But the MGNREGS works have come as a blessing. We can now stay in the village, work under the scheme and earn daily wages. Apart from wages, it is also creating long term assets for the village and improving our quality of life.”- Korukonda Modinayudu, a daily wage labourer
“For 100 days in a year, we have MGNREGS works. The silt removal in tanks and trenches is of great help to us to save and store water.” – Lakkaraju Varahalamma, a resident
“The farm pond is very useful to save rain-water and improve ground water levels. It enables us to cultivate on our small landholdings all year round” – Koppaka Appalanaidu, a small and marginal farmer