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MGNREGA helps in reducing poverty, says study

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (2005) promises 100 days of wage employment in each financial year to rural households. A recent study shows that it is because of this scheme that there is a notable reduction in poverty in India between 2004-05 and 2011-12.

15in_village_694702f26,000 rural households were interviewed twice- in 2004 before MGNREGA was introduced and later in 2011, after the introduction of the scheme. The survey was carried out by IHDS, Indian Human Development Survey.

IHDS, in a report released on Wednesday, has found the scheme to have reduced poverty among participant households to 31%. Out of the entities interviewed, 30% of them participated in the scheme along with 21% non-poor rural households.

Contradictory to the popular view that MGNREGA has raised rural wages, the study points to the fact that wages indeed rose sharply from 2004-05 to 2011-12, but the wage rate growth in high-level participation of MNREGA and low-levels of it, are almost the same. The issue that this report highlights is that women empowerment has come ashore because of this Act. For nearly 45% of women work under this scheme. Most of these women were disguised 21iit4

employed or unemployed in 2004-05. MGNREGA enabled 49% of women to have their own bank accounts in 2011-12.

As a result of this, the report also noted a significant reduction in borrowings from moneylenders and encouraged self-reliance among MGNREGA participants.

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A voice of his own: Rahul Gandhi tries to impress Lok Sabha with his speech

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Rahul Gandhi
Image source: wordpress.com

New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s oratory skills seem to be taking a much-desired shift as he gave a fiery 31-minute animated taunt at the government, mixed with sarcasm and humour yesterday. Gandhi has been ridiculed for his drab speeches since a long time now.

There was often deft silence, repeatedly disturbed by loud jeer from the treasury benches, when the 45-year-old Gandhi scion tore into the government over various issues in the high-ceilinged precincts of the Lok Sabha.

He poked a finger and perhaps touched a raw nerve when he sarcastically referred to RSS ideologue Veer Savarkar and slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for following him. The BJP members heckled back, objecting to his remarks.

“I said (Mahatma) Gandhi is ours, Veer Savarkar is yours. Am I wrong? Have you thrown Savarkar away? Good for you,” Gandhi said, with a grin, as he intermittently looked at a paper on which he apparently had written his talking points.

He wore a clean-shaven look, a white kurta pyjama, appeared calm, made frequent eye contact with MPs, moved his hands freely with strong gestures. Congress MPs cued him on various issues that the party needed him to speak on. But he remained undistracted.

He apparently didn’t bother about details and fumbled many a time, giving his detractors a reason to boo at him. But he took the criticism in his stride without getting overwhelmed.

“I am not from RSS, I commit mistakes,” said Gandhi, often derided for his alleged lack of knowledge and not so good oratory skills.

Even some BJP members, including Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, could not help but smile back at him while Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha clapped at least once.

Gandhi rode roughshod over the ruling party for its criticism of the previous Congress government.

“Modiji said I have not seen a scheme as bad as MGNREGA. But (Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley came to me and said that it’s a very good scheme. I told him, why don’t you say this to your boss? When money was allotted to MGNREGA, I closed my eyes and thought it was (P) Chidambaram, (the former finance minister during the Congress government), presenting the budget.”

His colleagues burst into laughter amid bouts of protests from the other side of the house. He lashed out at the government’s measures as an “assault on democracy”.

“Modiji is a very powerful man. Everybody feels a bit scared of him. But we should ask him questions. You should also ask,” he told BJP MPs. (Sarwar Kashani, IANS)

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