Utilizing MGNREGA fund for prosperity, environment betterment, food security and water management: My suggestion

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Utilizing MGNREGA fund for prosperity, environment betterment, food security and water management: My suggestion

Written by: Vipul Dave Date: April 19, 2020 for Defense forum India.

Providing employment to the masses and underprivileged people so as to enable them to earn their livelihood had always been a priority of almost all governments in India. . This has always been a prime agenda of manifesto of all political parties in every election. One of such major scheme to give guaranteed employment to poor people is MGNREGA.

The idea was originally floated in the time of Narsimha Rao government but it become act in February 2006 under Manmohan Singh government. Allocation of Rupees 11300 carore in 2006-07 wich increased to Rupees 71000 crore in financial year 2019-20 . This is a huge amount, which if spend to achieve specific objectives can transform Indian economy and help to fight many serious issues faced by country. However ,previous governments , over many years had spent money by just engaging the people in digging up the pits and feeling them up with soil subsequently, as the objective was to provide employment only.

Our governments failed to link it with some fruitful national objectives, which can address many serious issues faced by country such as water crisis, depletion of green cover, erosion of jungles , high carbon footprints and drying up of rivers. A Better planning was required, which our government and bureaucracy failed to put in place before allocating the fund.

One of the major problem we are going to face in future is water crisis, to which a little attention is paid so far. Recently Sadguru carried out ralley to save the river called ralley for the rivers. It started from South India to end up in Rishikesh before it covered more than 9000 kilometres. This spread a lots awareness in the people about the problem we are going to face in future. This is such a severe problem that if once we hit with crisis, it will take a century to recover from it, If we don't awake right now.

My suggestion is to link this MGNREGA funding to generate Rural Employment, and simultaneously revive the rivers, increase forestation and produce huge quantities of quality food and save huge foreign exchange. Simultaneously villages can be made prosperous and beautiful where people are not forced to migrate to urban areas to earn their livelihood. Even we can reverse the urbanisation and reverse movement of people from urban areas to rural areas.

My plan is as follows.

We should make it compulsory for every village to plant certain numbers of trees , water bodies and cow grazing area. To implement this we need to put up huge nurseries of native plants, fruit plants, medicinal plants and timber plants. This should be planted in government land and simultaneously in farmer's land as well. This will allow that farmers to have fix income after few years irrespective of whether their seasonal crop successes or fails.

By the way of MGNREGA, we should plant these trees along the bank of every major and minor rivers so as to keep them full of water throughout the year. This will reduce water crisis as well to a large extent. Many herbal medicines will be available with the people to keep them healthy in addition to let them earn good amount of money. if this plants are planted along the river banks, they will keep the river flowing throughout the year. Most rivers have become seasonal and they flows only in the rainy season. MGNERGA allocation should be linked to three plantation along river banks for the revival of rivers, producing herbal medicines and extend forest covers. MGNREGA amount should not have sole objective of providing rural employment but it should be linked to revival and creation of of water bodies, aforestation and generation of prosperity in rural areas. A review of same should be done every year and planning and implementation should be improved. It can be linked to some important government objectives such as bamboo mission as well.

We should put up clear cut objectives of achieving specific amount of forestation, creation of new jungles, making ponds and lakes, plantation of fruits and humble trees , creation of cow grazing area etc. Simultaneously along with the the objectives of Employment generation. Both should be linked. Our objective should be like " We intend to provide "X"amount of employment and by employing those people, we intend to generate "A" number of water bodies, "B" numbers of river revival, "C" amount of water conservation, "D" area of afforestation, "E" amount of additional fruit production, "F" amount of herbal medicinal plant growing and pulling "G" number of people out of poverty.

Government can also give a big thrust to make methanol or bio diesel from plants bio waste. No farmer will burn their residue of crop to save labor then.

Better planning of MGNREGA fund can help the country to fight many teething issues and generate prosperity in addition of giving employment. If we are able to to generate self employment in rural areas and bring prosperity , Subsidy amount will go down and we will be able to use that amount it in other national building objectives to make our country more prosperous more beautiful and more eco friendly and a better place to live.

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