THE TWO-PHASE ‘Rozgaar Adhikar Rally’ (employment rights rally) concluded in the capital on Tuesday in the form of a massive public meeting at Gandhi Bhawan.
The rally and the meeting was organised by voluntary organisation National Conference of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR) along with Poorest Area Civil Society (PACS), Wada Na Todo Abhiyan and other local organisations working in field of employment guarantee.
About 5,000 persons including dalits, minorities, indigenous people, women and handicapped persons from 18 districts where Madhya Pradesh Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MPREGS) participated in the rally and the meeting.
Following the rally a delegation met the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and submitted a memorandum inclusive of suggestions for better implementation of the REGS in state.
In the first phase of rally between October 16 and 19, the districts of Shahdol, Tikamgarh, Balaghat, Sidhi, Shivpuri, Satna, Dhar, Sheopur and Chhatarpur were covered while in the second phase between October 24 and 31, the districts of Betul, Dindori, Jhabua, Mandla, Khargone, Badwani and Umaria were covered.
The public meeting was presided over by national convener of NACDOR Ashok bharti while mayor Sunil Sood was present as chief guest.
The mayor expressed solidarity with the cause of NACDOR and associated organisations and said that any complaints regarding functioning of the government officials would be seriously treated.
Western India convener of NACDOR Nitin Choudhary, Yogesh Kumar of Samarthan, Gautam Patil also of NACDOR, Saroj Verma, Jagdeesh Yadav, Jagdeesh Suryavanshi, Mohammad Ehsaan and others also addressed the gathering. During the public meeting rally participants shared their experience.
They said that during the course of rally it was observed that several people are not at all aware about the scheme or have only half-baked information.
Contractors are allegedly being permitted to work in violation of provisions, dalits, tribal and marginalized are excluded from the benefits, administrative process of providing job cards is slow and at several places the sarpanchs have the custody of the job cards of the beneficiaries.
There are delays in payment of wages and it makes the scheme ineffective for tribal like Baigas who need daily payment for their work.
A people’s court on the scheme is scheduled to be held at Gandhi Bhavan on Wednesday.