MNREGA: Govt moves to enrol more people with disabilities | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The state government, which has missed the target of expanding benefits of rural employment guarantee scheme MNREGA to society’s most needy in recent years, has started surveys to identify and enrol people with disabilities in the programme.
On March 3, a directive was issued to all chief executive officers of zilla panchayats and district deputy commissioners, asking them to conduct door-to-door surveys in every village and gram panchayat in the state.
In the order, the MNREGA directorate and rural development and panchayat raj (RDPR) department noted that despite their intent to bring more people into the fold, only 13,000 people with disabilities were given work under the scheme in 2020-21. As of March 7, a staggering 80 lakh persons are registered with job cards for MNREGA in Karnataka.
The poor inclusion of the disabled in the scheme has prompted the government to undertake the surveys on a war footing and offer an honorarium of Rs 350 per 50 registrations to gram panchayat workforce surveyors.
Noting that people with disabilities cannot take up regular work, the government is considering assigning them tasks such as carrying water, taking care of children whose parents are working under MNREGA, and preparing records of daily wages. Overall, the government has listed 145 types of jobs that can be assigned to them, depending on their capacity. They will be paid the same salary that other beneficiaries get.
Another objective of the surveys is to identify the exact number of rural residents with a disability. Some officials said that the existing data was not comprehensive. “The surveys will also help gram panchayats disburse benefits to this group of the population; they are supposed to spend 5 per cent of their resources,” an official said.

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Sagar Biswas

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