Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan
India has faced a range of socioeconomic challenges this year due to the global pandemic. To help address the impact of the crisis, the Indian government has launched several initiatives, such as the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA).
The GKRA is an ambitious package of employment-oriented measures aimed at providing direct benefit to the rural population. In this article, I’ll give you a comprehensive overview of what exactly the GKRA entails and how it can help you, whether you’re an individual or a business.
The GKRA includes a mix of job creation and livelihood interventions spread over six districts in 25 states and union territories, with an estimated budget of over Rs 50,000 crore. This article will cover what this plan involves and how it can benefit those who are looking for employment or income generation opportunities.
What Is the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan?
Are you curious about the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan? This government initiative is a rural employment scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2020 to help those affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. The scheme had a two-fold purpose: to provide immediate relief to people who have lost their livelihood due to the pandemic, as well as to boost rural infrastructure through infrastructure works such as road building and water conservation.
The scheme’s primary focus is on providing employment opportunities in rural areas by incentivizing works related to agriculture, construction of rural roads, land development, water conservation and afforestation. It also aims at creating shared rural infrastructure that will benefit both individual households and local communities. Under this scheme, more than 25 million migrant workers have been provided with cash assistance in addition to creating employment opportunities to help them get back on their feet.
Objectives of the Scheme
When the Government of India launched the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan in June 2020, it set out three key objectives. Firstly, to provide employment opportunities to people displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondly, to upgrade existing rural infrastructure, and thirdly, to generate more livelihood assets in affected regions.
Let’s break this down further. The Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan has been designed to help those who lost their jobs or weren’t able to access them due to the pandemic. This involves providing access to employment generation programs such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and other activities related to rural development.
It also seeks to upgrade existing rural infrastructure such as roads, storage facilities and irrigation systems, as well as create more assets for livelihood such as agro-processing units, beekeeping initiatives and micro-irrigation projects—all of which can help sustain agricultural production in affected areas.
Key Components of the Scheme
The Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan aims to support migrants and rural households adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the scheme, there are a few key components that have been put in place to ensure financial inclusiveness, employment generation and infrastructure development in rural areas. Let’s take a look:
Employment Through Public Works
One of the main aspects of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan is providing employment through public works such as roads, bridges, waterways and more. This helps to create an environment where migrants can find respite from financial hardship due to lack of income or livelihood opportunities. In addition, this provides an opportunity for workers to gain important skills and experience through government-sponsored projects.
Skill Development Programs
The government has also supported skill development programs for those who are particularly vulnerable and unemployed due to the pandemic crisis. This includes providing training in basic skills such as handloom weaving, wood work, masonry etc., so that rural households can become self sufficient and improve their quality of life.
Infrastructure Development Programs
In addition to creating employment through public works and skill development programs, the scheme also focuses on infrastructure development initiatives such as building schools, health centers and other essential facilities like water harvesting systems in rural areas. This ensures that there is access to basic amenities for all citizens so they can lead better lives.
Benefits of the Scheme to Rural India
It’s no secret that rural India has been suffering from multiple economic issues, and the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan presents a great opportunity to alleviate these. With the scheme, rural India stands to benefit in multiple ways:
The Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan aims to bridge the gap in employment by creating 125 days of employment for rural citizens. This 125-day period will give workers security, as they can expect to receive wages during this time regardless of external factors like drought and the pandemic situation.
Disbursement of Wages Via Mobile Banking
The GKRA will also facilitate direct disbursement of wages through mobile banking so that wages are provided faster, without paperwork. This helps both citizens and employers; workers get paid quicker and employers can avoid cumbersome payment processing methods.
Revenue Generation for Local Communities
Most importantly, it will also create an influx of revenue for smaller towns and villages. While citizens are often able to get government jobs in bigger cities with higher pay, jobs under the GKRA will help keep wealth circulating within local communities since all work must be completed within those communities themselves. The revenue that is generated will be kept in the coffers of local governments, allowing them more leeway when it comes to increasing allocations on critical projects.
Employment & Skill Development Opportunities Provided by GKRA
You may have heard that the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA) is a scheme to help migrant workers, but the truth is that besides providing welfare and employment it also focuses on skill development.
Under the GKRA, there are several ways you can develop your skills:
Skill India Mission (SIM)
One of the initiatives under GKRA is helping you to join Skill India Missions. SIMs are dedicated to training and developing new skillsets in people across different sectors so that they can get better jobs. With over 30 million trained professionals already, this has been a huge success story for GKRA. Plus, after completing your training, you are entitled for government recognition and certification for your learned skillset.
Wage-Linked Training Programs
Wage-linked training programs focus on placing people into jobs as well as providing them with necessary certifications or skill-up gradation —which ultimately can fetch them higher wages. These programs provide individuals an opportunity to pursue their self-improvement goals while working towards financial stability. So whether you want to start a new job or upgrade your existing one, these programs can be the best choice for career growth and job security.
By focusing on employment opportunities and skill development, GKRA enables migrant workers and other disadvantaged groups to develop their skillsets and seek out gainful employment opportunities which will boost their incomes and livelihoods in the long run.
Financing and Implementing the GKRA
One of the most important things to understand about the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan is how it is financed and implemented.
At the core of the GKRA lies a convergence between Central and State governments, with both contributing to the funding of projects and their implementation. The Central Government’s contribution is through a combination of Special Assistance and Extra Budgetary Resources, which account for 60 percent, while State Governments contribute 40 percent.
Central Government Funding
From the Central Government’s side, Special Assistance includes funds from ministries ranging from Agriculture to Rural Development to Women and Child development, while Extra Budgetary Resources are provided through Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). For example, for FY 2020-21, ONGC has allocated Rs 1,500 crores towards GKRA.
Meanwhile state governments have engaged in various measures such as waiving off or reducing fines on loans given under MUDRA schemes; ensuring availability of funds for completion of incomplete works related to GKRA; allowing flexibilty in utilization of state government funds allocated towards GKRA by permitting funds allocated to one scheme to be used in any other scheme under GKRA; waiving off bank charges as well as mobilizing local resources through Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs).
The combined effort from both central and state governments has enabled successful implementation of GKRA projects in more than 116 districts across India.
When it comes to the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, more needs to be done. The scheme has been a big success, providing employment opportunities to over 93 million workers in 200 districts and 150,000 villages. But if the government wants to make a lasting impact on the lives of the poor and vulnerable, it needs to focus even more attention on how to ensure their better livelihoods and sustainability.
The Abhiyaan has been a great initiative, but more needs to be done to ensure that it benefits those who need it the most. This includes creating more livelihood opportunities and providing access to resources and services that can help these workers in the long run. With the right kind of support, the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan can be a success story for many.