Received date: 04/10/2021; Accepted date:18/10/2021; Published date: 25/10/2021
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The aim of this article is to review the literature on Awareness, benefits, socio-economic empowerment and constraints of existing women beneficiaries of MGNREGA. This scheme is considered as a powerful instrument for ensuring wide-ranging growth in rural milieu through its impact on social protection, livelihood security and democratic empowerment. Its approach among reaching at the peoples end i.e. bottom up, people centered, demand driven, self- selecting, and right-based design is distinct and exceptional. Besides this the scheme means to provide employment to the rural poor during the lean agricultural season. In this way it is found that it’s provide a legal guarantee for wage employment and gives legal provisions for allowance and compensation both in cases of failure to provide work demand and delays in payment of wages for work undertaken. Also MGNREGA boost up the economy of existing beneficiaries specially women with its innovative approach of growth and development. On the basis of above study also found some constraints like as no shade availability at worksite was main constraints faced to a high extent whereas nearly most of respondent found unavailability of first aid facilities in case of injury occurred to workers and lack of crèche facilities to some extent. Nearly half of beneficiaries reported lack of safe drinking water at worksite.
Empowerment; Livelihood, Sustainable; Development and economy
Under employment and surplus labour force were given with special attention while the rural development goals. It is always considered that any policy or programme success lies in the fact that it should cater the region specific needs and current problems at the same time. Over the year various policies were designed on this key rule for achieving sustainable development goals.
More than half of the respondents possessed average knowledge about MGNREGA. Among factors of women beneficiaries, majority of women beneficiaries found multiple reasons for facilitating their participation in scheme. MGNREGA ensure involvement of workers at various levels, two third women beneficiaries attended gram sabha for work selection related matter under scheme although very less were putted their suggestions in gram sabha. Further majority was reaching at gram panchayat for getting information or filling complaints etc. but more than half did not raise their voice for getting their rights. Most of women beneficiaries found that scheme enhanced their capacities in dealing various situations and for making decisions as well . Timely modifications and refinement made by government for meeting the specific current needs of population and moving the wheel of development. It triggered various concurrent problem prevailed in various section of society and in terms of policies generated possible solutions for betterment. Women are an inevitable part for the development and growth of national economy and their contribution as well as potential is of greater significance. They constitute a quite good share for the national labour force and one of the major contributors to the survival of the family. However, their contribution to family income and economy remains largely unseen and overlooked. They remain untapped and unattended in planned developmental efforts with little access to and control over resources.
In India over centuries, a very large number of rural women folk have been carrying the burden of poverty, ignorance, out molded customs and traditions. Still involvement of Indian women work force in national progress is unquestionable reality although the degree of involvement varies according to time as well as region to region. The term development incudes various aspect like social, economic, political etc. and for development of any country, it is essential for building the capacities of human resource. With the help of MGNAREGA scheme Indian government has taken up various measures to overcome the problem of poverty. Some were partially successful in addressing the issue of poverty but could not provide social security to the rural poor as well inadequate in the view of the dimension of unemployment in rural areas. Economic growth and anti-poverty programmes are designed with the assumption that they assist “the people”-both men and women. Perusal of the previous literature is essential to identify research problems and provide valuable suggestions in any research. In any development programme, benefits gained by people reveals its reach among mass as well as extent of objectives achieved directly or indirectly. It also gives feedback for future implications and modification in programme. A comprehensive review of literature is a must in any research endeavor and it requires through consideration and effort on the part of the investigator to select relevant review to report and organize it systematically. As such, an attempt has been made in this article to review the work already done in respect of MGNREGA are given.
Awareness and participation of beneficiaries in Mgnrega
Participation of peoples in any development programme mainly depends upon its proper communication among mass. Awareness is the key to unlock the benefits of programme. Level of awareness varies among individual and it’s also decides their extent of participation and access towards benefits. She concluded that with regards to important provision of MNREGA, awareness of women beneficiaries was highest about daily wage rate (76%) and provision of equal wages to both men and women (66%). High participation rate of women in programme indicated great contribution towards achieving women empowerment objective of MGNREGS and contributed to very much extent in their socio-economic upliftment. Up to what extent MGNREGA is helpful for women empowerment by raising their standard of living through the provision of 100 days guaranteed employment. The field survey reveals that the Gram Panchayats have been able to generate only very moderate degree of awareness about the scheme among the villagers, especially to women . Due to low wages (₹ 150 per day) male workers are not attracted towards this job. Females prefer this job due to more security in the wage and lower risks etc. The implementation of MGNREGA in two gram panchayats in Jhalawar, Rajasthan. Finding from both the gram panchayats revealed that the work force was mostly women from that the marginalized sections of the society. Respondents were quite aware of the procedure of the MGNREGA such as registration, having job cards, 100 days employment in a year, not much on process of opening bank accounts, accessing bank, receiving payment from bank and about the process of wage payment in MNREGA. Similarly beneficiaries’ perceptions towards MGNREGA programme in Doimukh Panchayat of Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh and focuses on some of the basic awareness issues like knowledge about days worked, wage rate, kinds of activities undertaken, social audit, job card, etc. From the observation concluded that most of the beneficiaries of Doimukh Panchayat don’t have proper knowledge about the MGNREGA programme. In context of equity in MGNREGS in Tripura state maintains desirable ratio for female participation but it is lower than national average. The proportion of female person days varies significantly among the district-female participation is higher in areas near to the urban centers. The level of participation of women in the much popular Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) activities with the help of primary survey in Morigaon District of Assam. The findings reveals that participation of women in physical activities and decision making is far from satisfactory except from backward communities who are more involved in physical work. Though education, primary occupation and age have inverse impact on participation in physical activities, education, distance from the panchayat centre has inverse impact on participation in decision making. In order to examine women’s participation in MGNREGA in two states of India via, Gujrat and Jammu and Kashmir. Finding of study showed that the women’s participation in MGNREGA is very low because of social barriers and mostly alternative jobs available for women in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and very high in the state of Gujrat because of large and wide spread rural poor people. An inter block comparative analysis of the two sample blocks revealed that women constitute an absolute majority among the beneficiaries constituting about 70.5 percent over male beneficiaries (29.5%). As per the responses of the sample women respondents, the scheme has brought about a new phenomenon indicating an increase in women workforce participation to the extent of 68.5 percent at the overall level. Similarly awareness level in the Sundargarh district, Odisha was not very encouraging. Around 93% of villagers were aware about the MGNREGS. But workers awareness on how to apply for job cards, awareness about minimum wages and demand for work was reportedly very low. Most women were aware that under the Act each household is guaranteed 100 days of work in a year. Less than half (48%) of all sample workers were aware of the level of minimum wage in their respective states. But awareness regarding operational guidelines, household registration, the job card distribution process, work applications and entitlements such as worksite facilities and unemployment allowance was inadequate. The beneficiaries were to a greater extent (100%) aware about ‘100days work’, equal wages for men and women (92-100%), mandatory job cards with a photo (98-100%) and death compensation (84-92%) in both selected panchayats of sulur block of Coimbatore district. To some extent women knew about medical aid (36-48%) and about worksite facilities (30-52%). In such a way only one third of them know how to secure job cards for the scheme. The main source of information identified by all respondents is gram panchayat and the main method of communication used is village notice board. But around 70 percent respondents have not reported knowledge regarding reservation for women in job allocation. Further on “Rural women empowerment through MNREGS work in the state of Kerela” found that the involvement of women in NREGS is a capacity building process for them. Women participation during the scheme execution in Kerala has been very high, considering the provision of earmarking a minimum of 33% employment generated to them. The impacts of NREGA on wage rates, food security and rural urban migration, covering 18 major states as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. Finding of the study showed, 92 per cent of sample respondents in Rajasthan were aware about NREGA implementation and 67.5 per cent HHs were aware about their right to apply for work and get employed within 15 days. The reasons behind and the implications of women’s participation in NREGA in particular and other wider impacts. The field work was carried out over 2008-2009 in selected areas of three states, Kerala, Himachal and Rajasthan. Kerala and Himachal have the “best performance on human development indicators” but the latter registered, until recently, very low women’s participation in NREGA. Rajasthan is among the poorest states of India and women’s participation in NREGA is among the highest. The inter-state variation in women’s participation in NREGA work is conditioned by several factors.
Benefits gained and socio-economic empowerment of beneficiaries through Mgnregs
In any development programme, benefits gained by people reveals its reach among mass as well as extent of objectives achieved directly or indirectly. It also gives feedback for future implications and modification in programme. The impact of MNREGA on socio economic profile of rural women. Findings of the study indicated statistically significant differ once between the groups regarding education 4.242, housing pattern 2.668, occupation 4.274, annual income 25.628, social participation 2.914, material possession 4.369, extension contact 6.419, economic motivation 7.562, risk orientation 8.470, scientific orientation 7.069 and level of awareness 9.865. The economic status of women prior to and after getting MGNREGS employment, based on various parameters. Female workers significant benefit reported by the study includes-income gains, social empowerment, more say in intra household decision making and creation of community assets etc. On “Implementation MGNREGA: A study of two gram panchayats in Jhalawa, Rajasthan” revealed that one of the positive impact of MGNREGA is that it has helped women in rural areas to come out of their closed shell. Significant impacts on individuals (men and women), household level and community levels. Rohtak district of Haryana aims to analyze the relevance of MGNREGS on women empowerment reported that 95.5% of the women respondents believe that the programme enhanced their credit worthiness and 78% women believe that they could start saving some money and found to be confident about use of money by herself which is great step ahead in terms of women empowerment. The implementation of MGNREGA, its management and improvement in living conditions of tribal people of Kherwara and Kotra tehsils from Udaipur district. One of the most visible impacts of MGNREGA is promotion of women empowerment. The Act provides work to women and it improves women conditions. That through MGNREGA has positive impact on employment pattern of women but in Assam their presence is also less in average. The gained benefits of women as community can be understood by increased presence in the gram sabha, increasing no. of women in speaking out in the meeting, increasing capacity of interaction etc. This unique feature little bit found in Assam too. The opinion about the impact of the scheme on various important attributes which contribute to the enhancement of quality of life such as food security, fight against poverty and indebtedness, greater economic independence of women, to arrest out-migration etc. MNREGA income separately to ascertain the contribution of the programme to the total household income. Average income per household which is found to be Rs. 22, 05/- without MNREGS, has risen to Rs.27, 000/- after their participation indicating an increase of 18.4 percent annually. The average income of both general (26.03%) as well as schedule caste group (24.29%) has been increased after joining the scheme. This shows that this scheme has empowered women from both group to strong their status in society. Women take advantage of MGNREGS work because of wage equality in contrast to the discrimination in local labour market. Women have gained in terms of employment days also wages due to MGNREGS work which means it has contributed to economic empowerment of women. Through MGNREGS , the status of women changes qualitatively in terms of graduating from marginal to main worker status as also help to enjoy wage parity with men . Women’s participation in Rajasthan and points to its success as well as challenges ahead to make it more effective. He concluded that MGNREGA has succeeded in providing employment for women in Rajasthan. The paid employment opportunity has helped women to earn independently. The proportion of workers employed in agriculture as wage worker declined from 10.55 percentages to 3 percentages. It is clear that MGNREGA has helped to bring down the level of unemployment and has also reduced the supply of labour to the agriculture. The impact of NREGA in two district of Allahbad district and found that introduction of the scheme improved the debt –servicing capacity of the poor household spent their income mainly on household expenses and on education and clothing of the children. “SC/ST employment guarantee: women empowerment in rural India” found that employment at NREGA worksites seems to have raised both enthusiasm and expectations among women workers. They unanimously affirmed that the benefits from NREGA employment were high and that they would like to get more days of work in a year. The average monthly income of household of selected panchayat of Sulur block was on the rise after being under MGNREGS. The average income of Kalangal household rose from Rs.3380.4 to Rs. 4994/-month.
A noticeable shift in case of means of livelihood is from agriculture to labour work. A positive impact of NREGA on quality of life in terms of non-food items like possession of vehicles and mobiles rather than food items like milk, milk products, rice, cereals etc. is evident from the study. Out of total employment generated in the Kerela state were included 65.8% in 2006-07 increased 85.01% in 2008-09, 88.19% in 2009-10 and 90.36% 2010-11. Empowerment of rural women has emerged as unintended consequences of NREGS. The proportion of female in total working members in NREGA was around 43 percent among the selected districts. The beneficiary households have perceived many potential benefits to be accrued from the programme. Almost all the beneficiary HHs have realized that NREGA enhanced food security. “How women seized NREGA” that unique features of public wage programme turn it into a magnet for women. Under the act, a household is guaranteed 100 days of manual employment in a year. Likewise In the Report of Institute of Rural management “An Impact assessment study of usefulness and sustainability of the assets created under MNREGA in Sikkim” findings revealed that the scheme added significantly to the purchasing power of the beneficiaries who are spending the additional income on better quality and human development related issues which is a good sign for the better future of the state and its people. West Bengal’s two district to assess the impact of MNREGA on empowerment of the beneficiaries, significant positive changes were found in the level of aspiration, self-confidence and self-reliance of the respondents after commencement of the scheme. Programme has some positive impact on labour market as well as especially regarding the wages earned by unskilled female workers in Kerela. Because wages paid in NREGA are higher than the prevailing market wages for women, there has been “some upward movement of female unskilled wages” in Kerala. A research in four states namely Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Tamilnadu and found employment at NREGS worksites seems to have raised both enthusiasm and expectation among women worker. They unanimously affirmed that the benefits from NREGA employment were high and that they would like to get more days of work in a year. By putting cash income into their hands, NREGS is beginning to create a greater degree of economic independence among women.
Constraints faced by beneficiaries of Mgnregs
For checking the success of development programme, extent of constraints seen in its path is also never being overlooked. As these are the indicators for positive improvements for implementers better planning in future. Constraints perceived by actual beneficiaries should be set as a positive milestone for achieving the goals of any programme. On said context revealed most important problems as “Children left uncared” (personal and family), “Delay in issuing a job card” (operational) and “Lack of drinking water facility” at worksite. The operational constraints (75.16 MPS) were the major constraints faced by the beneficiaries followed by personal and (68.52 MPS) and awareness constraints (54.05 MPS) respectively . Constraints like illiteracy, feel difficulty in filling form and complex procedure of registration, MNREGA work is more laborious and hard for women, wage rate are very low, unnecessary delay in wage payment, more job card and less employment, elite group within workers capture most of job card, and lack of child care facility were the major constraints which were perceived by the respondents in both the states. The main constraints causing the lowest participation of women respondents are family problems, religious and social restrictions, inefficiency of gram panchayat in providing employment and other economic factors, for example higher income from other sources etc. In such a way identified the obstacles in the path of the implementation of the scheme and barriers in access of MGNREGA facilities by female worker in Sonitpur District of Assam. MGNREGA funds have been allocated for the provision of safe drinking water, resting place, changing room, first aid, and recreational facility for children etc. From the survey it was found that except drinking water facility all other facilities were generally absent. The exception of provision for drinking water, other worksite facilities viz. creche , resting place, first aid , recreational facility for children etc. and other facilities for the betterment of gender were generally to absent in the worksite. Implementation of MG-NREGA in Rural West Bengal expressed that they did not get the work within the stipulated 15 days’ time of demand for work. “Economic evaluation and effectiveness of MNREGA in Sangrur district of Punjab” throws light on the various employment activities under MNREGA and mentioned that majority of MNREGA workers (97.5%) were employed with in the village. The implementation process of this programme and its impact on tribal livelihoods in a tribal dominated panchayat of Sundargarh district, Odisha. It was observed during field work that except drinking water no other facilities were arranged near worksite. The people faced many challenges at first when MGNREGA was implemented in the village. Some household did not get employment while some were not given job card applications because of family that had BPL status. The BPL card was in the name of the head, her father-in-law. The women beneficiaries under MGNREGA . Taking a sample of 100 beneficiaries selected randomly and using personal interview technique for collecting data and Mean Percent Score for analysis it was observed that personal and family problems were major constraints faced by them. In such a way despite numerous problems, NREGA is a programme that has begun to make a difference in the lives of women. Furthermore, it is popular among the workers, who routinely ask if more work could be made available to them under the NREGA. A study in the Burdwan district of West Bengal and explored that Most of the beneficiaries (63%) reported the delay in wage payment as the prime constraint, followed by non-availability of regular work (34%), political disturbances associated with MGNREGA works (26%) and lack of special provision for the old persons (21%). The potential of act enhance social security in the research area has not been realized to its maximum. The timely payment of wages through individual accounts of women workers encourages participation and greater control over earnings. It argues that certain initiatives and change can also prove helpful . Certain unintended, negative consequences of the programme, the lack of availability of creche facilities at worksites. This resulted in “older daughters supporting the work of mothers by looking after younger siblings” and missing out on their own schooling in the process. A field survey in 2008 in six north Indian states and found that with a random sample of 1060 NREGA workers, 32 percent of sample workers were women and conclude that the past three years, employment works opened under the NREGA in India had a significant impact on the lives of women and men workers. In the case of women, it is imported to note that relatively minuscule levels of NREGA.
Finally a conclusion has been reached that Impact of MGNREGS on the lives of women beneficiaries social aspects is find out in terms of their level of satisfaction through scheme. More than half of the beneficiaries were highly satisfied with reduction in migration for work, enhancement in self-identity and better family environment. And also Women beneficiaries expressed satisfaction in reduced social distances, dignity of labour while high satisfaction with reduction in dependency over male. None beneficiary showed dissatisfaction with regards to equal wages benefit under scheme. Further this scheme enhanced earning capacities of existing beneficiaries which is directly reflected satisfaction among more than half of the women beneficiaries while more than one third expressed high satisfaction in enhanced their decision making power after working under scheme. On the basis of above study found some constraints like as no shade availability at worksite was main constraints faced to a high extent whereas nearly most of respondent found unavailability of first aid facilities in case of injury occurred to workers and lack of crèche facilities to some extent. Nearly half of beneficiaries reported lack of safe drinking water at worksite. Regarding operational constraints majority faced no appropriate forum for filing complaints/problems to high extent whereas to some extent delay in issuing of job card and no extra allowance given in case of delay in job to high extent. Among factors of women beneficiaries, majority of women beneficiaries found multiple reasons for facilitating their participation in scheme to very much extent. MGNREGS ensure involvement of workers at various levels, two third women beneficiaries attended gram sabha for work selection related matter under scheme although very less is putted their suggestions in gram sabha. Further majority is reaching at gram panchayat for getting information or filling complaints etc. but more than half did not raise their voice for getting their rights. Most of women beneficiaries found that scheme enhanced their capacities in dealing various situations and for making decisions as well.