Centre has launched a Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan (GKRA), under which public works worth Rs 50,000 crore will be carried out. This step was taken after taking in consideration the plight of migrant laborer returnees, who have no livelihood left to survive on.
This will be done under the banner of a campaign, to “empower and provide livelihood opportunities” to returnee migrant workers and rural citizens. It will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a video-conference, from village Telihar in the district of Khagaria in Bihar on June 20.
The government says in an official statement, “This campaign of 125 days, which will work on a mission mode, will involve intensified and focused implementation of 25 different types of works to provide employment to the migrant workers on one hand and create infrastructure in the rural regions of the country on the other hand, with a resource envelope of Rs 50,000 crore.”
It further says, “A total of 116 districts with more than 25,000 returnee migrant workers across six states, namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Odisha have been chosen for the campaign which includes 27 aspirational districts. These districts are estimated to cover about 2/3 of such migrant workers.”
After the outbreak of COVID-19, lakhs of migrant workers from different metropolitan cities were either forced to return back or had no other option than this. After they reached their villages, the demand for employment went very high. In May 2020, households working under MGNREGA had reached a new high.
GKRA program will be launched from a remote village situated in Bihar, named Telihar. The reason for choosing this place has its own significance, as Bihar is going to observe State Assembly elections later this year.
With PM Narendra Modi, Bihar Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister will be present in person. While the chief ministers of the other five states and Union Ministers of concerned ministries will join the campaign virtually.
Union Ministries that are involved in the campaign are – Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport and Highways, Mines, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, New and Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture.
“The village across 116 districts in the six states will join this program through the Common Service Centers and Krishi Vigyan Kendras, maintaining the norms of social distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.