Mahabubnagar: Living goes tough in villages as people hardly get work during lockdown

Mahabubnagar: Living goes tough in villages as people hardly get work during lockdown
For representational purpose only

Lockdown made the lives of villagers tough without work and money

Mahabubnagar: Lockdown made the lives of villagers tough without work and money. Lockdown was imposed from March 22 to contain the spread of deadly Covid-19 across the country.

Keeping the plights of daily wage earners and other workers, the State government provided 12 kg ration rice and Rs 1,500 to each white ration card holder during this period.

But Jhamku Bai of Shankarayapally Thanda said usually the Thanda people work as house construction labourers and in factories at Jadcherla SEZ as casual workers.

'But, for the past 40 days except the money and free rice provided by the government, we have no money to feed our children or to spend on health check-up, he said.

The government also provided works for the workers under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) but the income from that work is very meagre to support their families, said Shankar Nayak, daily wage worker of the same village.

The authorities are not providing 100 days work in a year for each labourer as stipulated under the Act. The works are conducted occasionally, and each worker could around Rs 2,600 to Rs 3,000 for every two to three months, which is not much helpful, he added.

Shankar Nayak demanded that the government should provide works for at least 200 to 300 days in a year, which would enable them to earn some income to lead a better life.

While the District Rural Development Organisation authorities agreed that MGNREGs works were provided to only in some villages during lock down due to unclear instructions from the government, however, after a review by the district collector of Mahbubnagar recently, they have now decided to provide works to almost all the villages on a regular basis.

"During initial days of covid-19 lock down, due to fear of corona virus and due to stringent rules of no grouping together no workers came forward for MGNREGS works, but now we are providing works at least 15 days in a month," said a MGNREGS Field Assistant from Shankarayapally village.

Another villager Gopal Nayak of Gollondoddi village who earlier had worked as a centring worker in Hyderabad had come back to his village and staying ideal working at his in-laws farm and earning nothing since past more than one month.

"I do not have job card to be emeployed as MGNREGA worker and staying ideal without work. My family is depending on my in laws since past more than 40 days. I am eagerly waiting this lock down to end, but with rising cases in Hyderabad every day; we are stuck up now where."

Overall the economic conditions of the people living in villages has degraded badly because of lock down and it is high time the government come forward and provide employment to the workers of unorganised sector and help them come out of the grim situation in the villages.

This situation is not only of the Shankaryapally and Gollonidoddi in Jadcherla mandal, but across erstwhile Mahabubnagar there are similar instances and thousands of workers have been staying ideal earning nothing and eagerly waiting for the lock down to end.

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