A Study on the Impact of MGNREGS in Alleviating Poverty among Backward Class Women in Rechamballi Village of Chamarajanagara District
Poverty is one of the major human challenges in any part of the world and in any cultural back ground universally without any exceptions. It is culturally believed in India that a person experiencing poverty can’t even cross his own house borders when a physically challenged even can climb tricky hill ranges unabatedly. This concept explains that poverty impinges on human being a great sense of burden in terms of severe limitations on psyche, body and global social life. Our ancient scriptures described poverty in series of mythological stories in a vivid manner, where in Kuchela (the close associate of Lord Krishna) was described of having undergone poverty of utter distressing grades. Poverty becomes significant not by its mere presence itself but by its capacity of causing consequent realities such as enforcing the individual to be incapable of accessing Socio-economic supports and mainstream social life.
Thus Poverty can be far beyond in its impact beyond the harmful limitations associated with grave bodily illnesses in terms of crippling an individual or a family or a community to undergo deteriorated quality of life infested by loss of motivation to progress and incapacity of accessing resources around. It was also theorized in Indian scenario by economists that poverty bequeaths poverty that runs to generations to come especially in rural agrarian intense parts of Indian context.
Poverty being itself an excruciating limitation and if it gets further linked up with other social marginalization and vulnerabilities the scenario becomes more fragile resulting in undergoing the concept of the “poorest of the poor”. In this context we need to think of parameters such as Gender, rural backwardness, belonging to back ward classes of societal ladder when super imposed upon the already vulnerable “women” attains serious importance for study, investigation and providing appropriate cost effective remedial measures through scientific conceptualization of these multiple vulnerabilities.
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger is the first and foremost goal of Millennium Development Goals. India is committed to eradicate poverty through its populist schemes. Poverty among women is one of the concerns. Without the development of women, it is very difficult to imagine the development of the society. Poverty is one of the obstacles for the empowerment of women. According to some estimates poverty rate among women is above the poverty rate among men. It is also higher among the women in backward classes. Alleviation of poverty among women in backward classes is utmost priority. There are so many social benefits from MGNREGA, since it creates productive assets. Nearly half of the beneficiaries are women (The Hindu, 14.10.2014).
MGNREGA is an acronym for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Belgian born Indian economist Jean Dreze conceptualized and drafted the version of MGNREGA. It enhances the livelihood security of rural people by providing 100 days of wage employment in a financial year. It is one of the premier poverty alleviation schemes in India. The provisions of this scheme is applicable to the whole of the country and now operational in 632 districts, 6554 blocks and 247858 Gram Panchayats.
According to 2011 census, 833 million people live in rural area. Majority of the rural people depend on agriculture and allied activities. Agriculture is sometimes seasonal. If there should be a development in the rural economy, there should be an expansion in employment and income opportunities. So MGNREGA provides an opportunity for the rural people in the expansion of employment and income opportunities. This wage employment programme was derived from legislation. The act was came into force on February 2, 2006 in 200 of the most backward districts of the country. MGNREGA is providing 100 man-days of work in a year at Rs. 174/- as wage per person in rural areas. The employment generation is based upon sustainable basis. It was implemented in an additional 130 districts in phase II in 2007-2008. The act was notified in the remaining rural districts of India from the 1st of April 2008. In Karnataka, the wage given to the beneficiaries is Rs.224
Review of Literature
The World Bank in its World Development Report 2014 praised MGNCREGS. The bank appreciated the good governance and social mobilization through MGNREGS. When there is no work for poor and disadvantaged groups, the demand for work is so massive in MGNREGS. According to the report of MGNREGS provides safety net and also spreads awareness about rights and promotes dignity
Prasanna V. Salian (2014) in his study “An Economic Analysis of the Implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act: A Comparative Study of Karnataka and Andra Pradesh” found that there is a missing in the “bottom up approach” in the implementation and functioning of MGNREGS in Karnataka state. He also sees there is a lack of awareness about the basic provisions and entitlements. There was a significant correlation between MGNREGS participation and changes in the household income, changes in food consumption, particularly nutritional food intake and impact on distress migration. He also found that there is a significant savings among the beneficiaries in better performing areas. The income from MGNREGS helped the household to manage expenditure on health related issues, spending on private tuition and sending children to private school. This shows that MGNREGS has a positive impact on income and spending so will lead to the reduction of poverty in rural households. According to Lalitha Kumari, India is haven for 22% of the world’s poor. The Report of Working Group on National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM-2011) estimates show that India has a rural poverty of about 42%. Rural poverty is high in some northern and north eastern states. To address the multidimensional poverty, emphasis on empowering the women is important along with addressing the financial and livelihood needs of the poor. The Ministry of Rural Development has been taking various measures to reduce poverty. There are about 1.1 billion or 645 million people in India who are living in poverty which constitute 55 percent of the total population (New Oxford University Study). Nearly one-third of the population is living under poverty in India.
Profile of the Village
Rechamballi is a small village which is 14 KMs from Chamarajanagara City. It belongs to Chamarajanagara Block Panchayat and Kagalavady Village Panchayat. The total population according to 2011 Census of Rechamballi village is 1236.
Research Design: Causal Research Design
Sampling Method: Random Sampling
Sample Size: 30 Backward Classes Women beneficiaries of MGNREGS in Rechamballi village of Chamarajanagara District of Karnataka State.
Analysis and Findings
Here the role of MGNREGS in encountering some of the major health risks like diabetes, BP, Asthma and TB has been investigated. The role of MGNREGS in meeting financial emergencies like personal medical expenditure, family medical expenditure and in meeting inflation in the grocery and other food products has been found out. The role of MGNREGS in fulfilling the hike in the expenditure of children’s education, in fulfilling the sudden/unforeseen personal expenditure has been also found out. The impact of MGNREGS on the family life of women beneficiaries because of the involvement in the job was also taken into consideration.
Chi-Square test has been used to study the reduction of vulnerability among backward class women through MGNREGS. Computation made has been tabulated in table 1
The calculated Chi-square value is less than table value, the test is not significant. But the number of the respondents who belong to more than Median group is 19 (63.30%) indicating that there a growing impact of MGNREGS on reducing the vulnerability among the backward women in Rechamballi village.
The major information collected through this objective were the awareness of respondents about health insurance, crèche facility and minimum wage under MGNREGS. Awareness about filling application form, job card distribution was also found out. The question was also on the accessibility of various provisions of MGNREGS and the concern of beneficiaries towards the awareness about the MGNREGS. The data about the facilities available at work site like drinking water, shade, first aid, shade for children, period of rest, free medical treatment in case of accident at work site, daily allowance at 50% of wage rate in case of injury during hospitalization, women who tend to children having more than five children on the work site will be paid in the same as the other workers on the site, Rs. 25,000 to the legal heir in case of death or permanent disability and crèche.
Chi-Square test has been used to understand the level of awareness of respondents about various provisions of MGNREGS. Computation made has been tabulated in table 2
Calculated Chi-square value is less than table value, the test is not significant. But the number of respondents who belong to more than median group is 18 (60%). Which shows that there is a growing awareness about the provisions of MGNREGS among the backward class women beneficiaries in Rechamballi village at 5% level.
1. Data on equal opportunities for female workers in MGNREGS, the role of gender equality which facilitates empowerment of rural women and to which extent the gender equality has been achieved or not through MGNREGS were investigated. The data on how the officers and elected representatives in MGNREGS treat women were also taken.
Chi-Square test has been used to know the gender equality in MGNREGS. Computation made has been tabulated in table 3.
Since calculated Chi-square value is less than table value, the test is not significant. This shows that more emphasis should be more emphasis on improving the gender equality in MGNREGS. Data were taken on the migration of beneficiaries and household members before and after implementation of MGNREGS seeking job. The effectiveness of MGNREGS in controlling distress migration was taken into account.
Chi-Square test has been used to study the role of MGNREGS in controlling distress migration. Computation made has been tabulated in table 4
Calculated Chi-square value is less than table value, the test is not significant. But the number of respondents who belong to more than median group is 20 (66.70%). Which is showing that the role of MGNREGS has been increasing in controlling distress migration at 5% level.
Information on the identity and pride of the beneficiaries before and after enrolling into MGNREGS were taken. Ability to protect herself from harassment at the work place was also taken. Data on the active involvement in the rural public sphere, developing network with community, getting acquaintance about the welfare program, solving community problems and the motivation for political representation through MGNREGS, motivation got in the decision making process of Village Panchayat and living a stress free life have been taken through this objective.
Chi-square test has been used to find out the role of MGNREGS in the Empowerment of backward class women. Computations made has been tabulated in table 5.
Since calculated Chi-square value is less than table value, the test is not significant at 5% levels. The frequency percentage at more than median value is 60%. This shows that there is a growing contribution of MGNREGS in the empowerment of Backward Class women. Though the test is not significant, the contribution of MGNREGS towards the empowerment of Backward Class women is positively growing. Day by day we can see a very good result in the empowerment of Backward Class Women through MGNREGS.
Data about bank account and no-frill account before and after enrolling into MGNRES have been taken. Data about financial inclusion, role of SHG in financial inclusion, reduction of poverty and social inclusion through MGNREGS were taken through this objective.
Chi-square test has been used to explain how MGNREGS helps in the inclusive growth of backward class women. Computations made has been tabulated in table 7.
Since calculated Chi-square value is more than table value, the test is significant. That is, there exists significant impact of MGNREGS in Inclusive growth among backward class women at 5% levels. The number of the respondents who belongs to more than Median group is 23 (76.7%) indicating that there is an Inclusive growth amongst beneficiaries.
MGNREGS is a world’s largest poverty alleviation programme. The study conducted in Rechamballi village shows, MGNREGS has a conspicuous impact on the alleviation of poverty amongst Backward Class Women. It is showing an upward trend in the inclusive growth of Backward Class Women in this village. Its role in controlling distress migration, reducing the vulnerability, contribution towards empowerment of women is appreciable. Awareness level about MGNREGS is also showing an uptrend. But more emphasis should be on creating gender equality. Overall result shows that MGNREGS showing a greater role in alleviating poverty among Backward Class Women in Rechamballi village.
Gangadhara Y V
Research Scholar, DOS & Research in Social Work, Tumkur University, Tumkur
Prof. Parashurama K G
Professor, DOS & Research in Social Work, Tumkur University, Tumkur
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