Kaam Maango Abhiyaan seeks to ensure that demand for jobs under the scheme is captured effectively

The Ministry of Rural Development is planning to launch a campaign to generate awareness of the flagship Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in select districts and urge people to register under it. The “Kaam Maango Abhiyaan” campaign is intended to ensure that the demand for MGNREGS jobs is captured effectively. The focus of the campaign, which will increase participation in the programme and boost awareness of its entitlements, will be on six districts — Sitapur (Uttar Pradesh), Nashik (Maharashtra), Raichur (Karnataka), Katihar (Bihar), West Singhbum (Jharkhand) and Sundergarh (Odisha). A nationwide campaign will be launched on February 2, 2014, MGNREGA Day.

Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has urged Chief Ministers to take up the mantle of extending the campaign’s message.

“I would be grateful for your personal leadership of the campaign which will motivate all the stakeholders in realising the benefits [offered] by the Act. This will also coordinate the efforts of all sections of society including civil society organisations, district administrations, State administrations, students, media, academics and — most importantly — [MG]NREGA workers,” stated Mr. Ramesh’s letter to all concerned Chief Ministers.

Additionally, an attempt will be made to reach out to every ward/habitation and give people an opportunity to register their demand for MGNREGS work. It will involve training of officials, mass awareness drives via padyatras and regularising a monthly “Rozgar Diwas in every panchayat as an opportunity for people to register their demand and grievances.

In anticipation of the demand expected to be drummed up by the campaign, requisite capacity-building will be undertaken by the administration.

“This is a significant step forward, especially since the campaign would be a collaborative effort with district, State and Central government, MGNREGA workers and civil society organisations,” Nikhil Dey, social activist from the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, told The Hindu.

Mr. Dey said the abhiyan had been well-received by the States, including Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

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