New Delhi: The Covid-19 lockdown imposition has bought a steep jump in labour unemployment across the country. Several labourers were deprived of any income and thus savings. Even if the situation has not much changed by now, but the Indian government is taking measures to engage more than thousands of workers in infrastructure projects across few Indian states.
Indian Railways have now generated more than 6 lakh 40 thousand mandays of work under Gareeb Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan in six States. The States are Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Rail Minister Piyush Goyal is closely monitoring the progress made in these projects and generation of work opportunities for the migrant labourers under this scheme.
Mandays refers to a day regarded in terms of the amount of work that can be done by one person within this period. Around 165 Railway infrastructure projects are being executed in these states. Railway Ministry said, 12,276 workers have been engaged in this Abhiyaan and the payment of over Rs 1,410 crore has been released to the contractors for the projects being implemented.
Railways have identified a number of railway works which are being executed under this scheme. The works are related to construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings, construction and maintenance of approach roads to railway stations and plantation of trees at the boundary of railway land.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched this massive employment-cum-rural public works campaign named Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan in June this year to provide livelihood opportunities for the large number of returnee migrant workers affected by the COVID-19. An amount of Rs 50,000 crore will be spent for building durable rural infrastructure under the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan.
With the beginning of the lockdown in March, unemployment, lack of savings, and the inability to sustain, the migrant workers resorted to walk thousands of miles to their homes in rural India. Release of this employment scheme can result in betterment of lives for some people.