(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 02, 200
Gram rojgar sevaks Organise Huge Rally in Aurangabad
ON July 20, more than 2500 young
and educated gram rojgar sevaks (rural employment workers) from a large
of villages, covered under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
out a procession to the divisional commissioner office in
Since April 2006, gram
rojgar sevaks working under the NREGA have not received a single rupee
remuneration for the work they carried out for the scheme’s
have they been given any training. Controlled by the Congress and the
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the
Though some exceptional bureaucrats have shown good response in some districts, the Congress-NCP government protecting the interests of sugar barons and the construction lobby, has issued many orders which are in spirit against the NREGA act.
With the consistent pressure
of CPI(M) and the Left parties on the UPA government, all the 33
The disastrous liberalisation and globalisation policies of the state government have left no opportunities for generating fresh employment for the youth. When NREGA/MREGS was started in all the districts, many graduates and even post graduate youth from the rural poor and labour families applied for the post of gramrojgar sevak, in the hope of earning at least a bare minimum wage for their survival and for supporting the family. But the hopes of these youth have been shattered by the anti people policies of the state government. Neither was there any work for rural poor nor any remuneration for the gramrojgar sevak !
With the consistent struggle for work under employment guarantee scheme in some pockets of Marathwada, the Agricultural Workers’ Union established a good rapport with gramrojgar sevaks. The state centre of AIAWU studied the issues of gramrojgar sevaks in detail and immediately decided to organise gramrojgar sevaks at the state level for strengthening the struggle for full implementation of NREGA with a broader unity of agricultural workers.
The gramrojgar sevaks who are well educated and who belong to rural poor families gave an enthusiastic response for forming the union and also supported the demands of agricultural workers with a radical spirit. The charter of demands is as follows:
1. The entire budget on MREGS under NREGA should be spent.
2. All job-seekers who have registered should get job cards as per the provisions of the NREGA.
3. Gram rojgar sevaks should get appointment letters duly signed by district programme officer.
4. They should be paid Rs 5000 per month as remuneration along with extra TA and DA and/or, meeting allowance since the date of joining in April 08.
5. Gram rojgar sevak should be given the status of muster assistant.
6. They should be appointed in every village of the state and should be provided good quality training.
7. Every gram panchayat should be given a Rojgar Kaksh. Every block should have an implementation team and the zilla parishad should have a co-ordination and monitoring team. The gram rojgar sevak with higher qualifications should be promoted.
8. A separate cadre should be formed (such as in ICDS project) for implementation of NREGA.
9. Contradictory orders and practices conflicting with the NREGA should be withdrawn.
10. Transparency and accountability rules under NREGA should be strictly followed.
11. The pending cases of less than minimum wage payment should be immediately settled.
12. A detailed time and motion study of work and wage should be undertaken in every district for implementation of minimum wages.
13. Minimum wage of the work should be raised to at least to Rs 120 per day
14. No out sourcing of data entry or any such work on contractual basis should be permitted.
15. Gram rojgar sevak’s role of planning should be enhanced for good quality work under NREGA and rights to sign Exhibit 5
The district conventions have been organised in 13 districts and charter of demands were formed. A memorandum was submitted to the district authorities in Marathwada, Khandesh and South Maharashtra regions. District level dharanas and rallies were organised in nearly ten districts. The first rally took place in Kolhapur with a strong participation of nearly 600 gram rojgar sevaks from 12 tehsils on June 17, 2009 which was led by Suryaji Salunke (CITU), Rajan Kshirsagar(AIAWU) and Babasaheb Saravade (AIAWU). Another agitation was held on June 18, 2009 that was led by Shankar Pujari in the Sangli district which is a home district of the Congress cabinet minister for Employment Guarantee Scheme, Madan Patil. Rallies and dharana agitations were also conducted in Parbhani, Beed, Jalna, Osmanabad, Hingoli Jalgaon and Nandurbar district headquarters.
With this preparation, the MRGSS union called for a regional rally in Aurangabad. District and tehasil meetings were conducted, leaflets and posters were put up on every pachayat/block office. SMS (Marathi & English) and Email services were used extensively. The effort to reach every corner of Marathwada was made.