Socio-economic study on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in Ri-bhoi district of Meghalaya.
College of Post Graduate Studies in Agricultural Sciences, Central Agricultural University , Imphal
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) aims at enhancing the livelihood security of the people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage employment in a financial year, to a rural household whose members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. Per capita annual income of Meghalaya is `60,966, which is less than all India average of `77, 524. This scheme is mainly for rural people and Ri-Bhoi district has more than 90 percent of rural population. Ri-Bhoi district, consists of marginal workers (95.59%), cultivators (96.49%) and agricultural labours (92.03%) respectively. As marginal workers work less than six months in a year and they don’t get employment all-round the year, MGNREGA has a great potential to fill the gap. Taking this into consideration, the present study was undertaken with the objectives. 1. To evaluate the impact of MGNREGA on income, expenditure and assets of beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. 2. To study the constraints faced by the beneficiaries. Multi stage random sampling technique was applied for the present study. Meghalaya and Ri-Bhoi was chosen purposively. From the district, two blocks viz., Umsning and Umling was also chosen purposively. Two villages from each block as 90 respondents (beneficiaries and non beneficiaries) were selected randomly from the four villages. To attain the first objective, personal interview was carried out for both the beneficiaries and non beneficiaries.To find the constraints faced by the beneficiaries two FGD was conducted in two villages of each block. It was followed by conducting PRA tools such as constructing seasonal calendar and social map. There was increase in income (20.79%), which was statistically significant and significant increase in expenditure of food items like cereals, pulses, vegetables, oil, meat milk and it’s by products, sugar,salt and spices, and non-food items also like cooking, electricity, transportation children education, medicine, cloths, and ceremony or function after getting wage from MGNREGA. There was significant difference among the expenditure of food items like vegetables, fruits and grocery, fermented pickle, egg, dry fish and sea food and non-food items like medicine between beneficiary and non-beneficiary. There was increase in the purchase of farm implements and household assets like T.V, mobile phone, bike, LPG connection and livestock as mainly pigs after employment get from MGNREGA. The non-beneficiaries were advanced in using television, radio, mobile phone, bike and LPG connection than beneficiaries. There is no significant difference in the income between the beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. In case of expenditure also there is no significant difference, except in vegetables, fruits, others and medicine. No records entered in job card, demanded 100 days of work is not provided, delay in payment of wages and inappropriate work season were the major constraints faced by the beneficiaries.