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‘Madhya Pradesh has not tapped MNREGA to help drought-hit Bundelkhand’

Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh), May 28 (IANS) The MNREGA can benefit the parched Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, but the state government is not doing enough to exploit the rural jobs scheme for the people, says a rights activist.

As per statistical records, April saw only 29 per cent of people receiving employment benefits through MNREGA.

However, in the Uttar Pradesh region of Bundelkhand, the rural employment guarantee scheme performed much beyond the expected target to benefit people.

As per data given by Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, in six districts of Madhya Pradesh against an estimate of providing 18,81,296 man days of work, only 5,47,136 man days could be provided — working out to just 29 percent of the target.

“The MP government always maintains it has performed better than the UP government in respect of MNREGA, but the ground reality shows something else,” Yadav told IANS.

The six districts of Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh are: Chhatarpur, Tikamgarh, Panna, Sagar, Damoh and Datiya.

The mandays of work achieved in the six districts is much lower than what was targeted. In Chhatarpur only 24 per cent mandays work was provided, in Damoh 40 per cent, in Panna 16 per cent, in Sagar 41 per cent and 20 percent in Tikamgarh.

However, in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, the mandays work provided was 32 percent higher than the target. The seven districts are: Jhansi, Lalitpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Banda, Mahoba and Trikut.

According to Yadav, each working day fetches Rs.167.

According to Yadav, if the Madhya Pradesh government provides people of the drought-hit region with employment through MNREGA for even 10 days a month then they can tide over their problems. However, the state government has failed in this regard, he said.

Yadav said for the people of Bundelkhand it has been a double whammy. On the one hand people are not able to get drinking water easily and not even able to get fodder for their domestic animals. On the other, the government has failed to provide any employment opportunities for them. This is the reason for people to migrate from the region.

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