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New Delhi, June 21, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a massive employment-cum-rural public works campaign named "Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan" to provide livelihood opportunities in villages and other places witnessing a large number of returnee migrant workers affected by the devastating COVID-19.
The Abhiyaan was flagged off from village Telihar, block Beldaur, district Khagaria, Bihar yesterday through video conference attended by the Chief Ministers and other representatives of the six participating States, various Union Ministers and others.
Modi interacted through remote video conferencing with the villagers. He asked some of them about their current state of employment and whether the various welfare schemes launched during the lockdown period were available to them.
He pointed out that rural India stood its ground in the fight against COVID-19 and was providing inspiration to the whole country and the world in this moment of crisis.
He said both the Centre and the State Governments were concerned about the welfare of the poor and the migrants. The Aatma Nirbhar Bharat campaign itself was launched with a Rs 1.75 lakh crore package under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.
The Central and State Government also ran special Shramik Express trains for the migrant labour who wished to return homes.
“This is a historic day as a massive campaign has been kickstarted for the welfare of the poor, for their employment. This campaign is dedicated to our brothers and sisters, for the youth, sisters and daughters living in our villages. It is our endeavour that through this campaign workers are given work near their homes," he said
The Prime Minister announced that an amount of Rs 50,000 crore would be spent for building durable rural infrastructure under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan.
He said 25 work areas have been identified for employment in villages, for the development of various works. These projects are related to meet the needs of the villages like rural housing for the poor, plantations, provision of drinking water through Jal Jeevan mission, Panchayat Bhavans, community toilets, rural mandis, rural roads, other infrastructure like cattle sheds, Anganwadi Bhavans etc.
The Abhiyan will also bring facilities like high speed and cheap internet connection to every rural household to help the youth and children. This will be the first time that the rural areas would be using more internet than the urban areas. Hence the laying of fibre cable and provision of the internet is also made a part of the Abhiyan.
The Prime Minister said self-reliant (Aatma Nirbhar) farmers are equally essential for a self-reliant India (Aatma Nirbhar Bharat). The Government took a major step by removing various shackles of unwanted rules and regulations so that the farmer can freely sell his produce anywhere in the country and connect directly with traders who offer a better price for his produce.
The farmers are being directly linked to the market and that the Government has provided an investment of Rs 1,00,000 crore for linkages like cold storage etc.
This Abhiyaan of 125 days, will work in mission mode and involve focused implementation of 25 categories of works/activities in 116 districts, each with a large concentration of returnee migrant workers in 6 states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha. Public works to be undertaken during this campaign will have a resource envelope of Rs. 50,000 crores.
The Abhiyaan will be a convergent effort between 12 different Ministries/Departments, namely; Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport & Highways, Mines, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture, to expedite implementation of 25 public infrastructure works and works relating to augmentation of livelihood opportunities.
The major objectives of the initiative include the provision of livelihood opportunity to returning migrants and similarly affected rural citizens.
It will saturate villages with public infrastructure and create livelihood opportunities through the creation of roads, housing, Anganwadis, Panchayat Bhavans, various livelihood assets and Community Complexes among others.
The basket of a wide variety of works will ensure that each migrant worker is able to get an opportunity of employment according to his skill, in the coming 125 days. The Program will also prepare for expansion and development of livelihoods over a longer-term.
The Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal Ministry for this campaign and the campaign will be implemented in close coordination with the State Governments. Central Nodal Officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and above will be appointed to oversee the effective and timely implementation of various schemes in the identified districts.