Tribal people unhappy with the payment being made under the scheme
Workers in tribal areas are not happy with the meagre payment for the works being provided under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. They seek more wages as they have to work in hilly areas where soil is very hard. In fact they are not getting payment on par with the workers of plain areas.
The government is supposed to pay Rs.121 per day. But the workers in tribal villages are not even getting Rs.80 per day despite working on hills where rock is very hard and temperature is high.
Their problems came to light on Thursday during the padayatra of Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vrittidarula Union (APVVU) taken up to create awareness among the villagers and tribal people about the MGNRGEA and Right to Information Act.
APVVU State secretary P.S. Ajay and Srikakulam district convener E. AppaRao and others launched their padayatra in Marriguda village of Hiramandalam. Activists of United Front on RTI also joined them holding placards and banners.
Pamphlets will be distributed throughout the padayatra which will cover many villages of Hiramandalam, Kottiru, Seethampet, and Bhamini mandals in the next four days. During the interaction with the workers, Mr. Ajay observed that payments were not adequate despite the tall claims of the government over the MGNRGEA.
A worker, K. Ramarao, told him that they were spending 25 per cent of the amount on transport as they had to come from Tulagam to Marriguda. “There is no corruption in the scheme as far as our village is concerned. But the payment is not sufficient. The government should enhance the wages for the works being taken up in hilly areas,” said Mr. Ramarao.
Another worker, Apparao, expressed displeasure over the irregular payment.
Mr. Ajay told The Hindu that many workers did not know their rights under the MGNRGEA which was expected to provide work for at least 100 days in a year.
Otherwise, the government has to pay compensation to the applicants.
Activists of non-governmental organisations hoped that their padayatra would certainly evoke good response and make the authorities concerned to implement the programme more effectively.