You need Rs 5 more than we do, NREGA workers tell Modi

Jharkhand NREGA workers protest low wages by returning Rs 5 to PM on May Day

GN Bureau | May 2, 2016


#Narendra Modi   #NREGA   #Jharkhand workers   #May Day  


Hundreds of workers in Manika block of Jharkhand’s Latehar district have sent Rs 5 to prime minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday. They were protesting against the measly increase of NREGA wages in Jharkhand this year – from Rs 162 per day to Rs 167 per day.

 
NREGA wages in Jharkhand were raised by just Rs 4 last year (from Rs 158 to 162), and another Rs 5 this year. To protest against this stinginess, workers marched through Manika, held a rally, and then hundreds of them sent Rs 5 to the prime minister with a letter.
 
Text of the letter
Dear prime minister,
 
This year your government has increased the wages of NREGA workers in Jharkhand by five rupees (from Rs 162 per day to Rs 167 per day). We feel very lucky, because in 17 states the increase was even less. It sounds like NREGA workers in Odisha are now considered very well-off because their wages have not increased at all.
 
Actually, we are very concerned. The government must be really short of money if it is unable to raise NREGA wages to the minimum wage, that too when one third of the rural population is affected by drought. (For your kind information, the minimum wage in Jharkhand is Rs 212 per day.)
 
We feel that you need the extra five rupees more than we do, since your government has so many expenses. To implement the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, you will have to spend an additional Rs 1 lakh crore at least on salaries and pensions of government employees. Defence expenditure is about Rs 2.5 lakh crore. You must also be spending a lot of money on tax concessions for big companies, aside from giving them cheap land and other resources.
 
Considering all this, we NREGA workers have made a collective decision to give up our extra wages for a day and return the extra five rupees to you. We hope that this will help you to keep your corporate friends and government employees happy.
 
Your faithful workers,
[followed by name, signature and job card number]
 

This action was initiated by Grameen Swaraj Mazdoor Sangh – a local organisation of rural workers,  local activists James Herenj and Ankita said in a press release. Among other activities, members of the Sangh are struggling to secure their rights under NREGA, including employment on demand and payment within 15 days, the press release stated. However, interest in NREGA work is waning in the area because of low wages. 
 

Comments

 

Other News

"We will be involving community volunteers to effectively police the park"

The work on Sunder Nursery, a lush green refuge from urban chaos in central Delhi, started in 2007, when the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) undertook a conservation and renewal proje

Namami Gange: Of promises and achievements

Twenty-six-year-old Surender is a ferryman in Varanasi. Surender and his family own three boats and their livelihood is dependent on taking tourists on a joyride on the Ganga. Recalling the time when he used to ride a boat with his grandfather, Surender says, “At that time Ganga water was so

Trouble on the metro line

The storm is yet to die out over the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited`s (MMRC) taking over 30 hectares of the famed Aarey colony, a green belt of mumbai, when another application has come in from MMRC demanding another 12,000 sq metres of land. The colony in Goregaon, inaugurated in 195

"Govt must allow open spaces which can serve as lungs for the city"

For years we had a tradition in Mumbai, particularly for all the trunk roads, to be avenues (boulevards). Though we continue to have trees in some parts of Mumbai, the fact is that we appear to have given up on this. Having trees and plants on streets and roads not only provides shade but also absorbs poll

Dry ATMs: Rahul takes a dig at govt

As media reports spoke of ATMs across the country going dry, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the government even as the finance ministry reviewed the situation and blamed it on “unusual demand for cash”. “Desh ke ATM sab phir se khali, Benkon ki haalat kya kar da

A hundred years ago: Lessons in civility

Gandhi was, as usual, busy on several fronts in April 1918. The previous year had witnessed his frst major satyagraha after returning to India, in Champaran. The previous month had witnessed his frst major political campaign in the chosen hometown of Ahmedabad, intervening in the mill-workers strike. B

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter