Is NREGA(National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) a success or a failure? The NREGA is an Indian Job Guarantee scheme, enacted by the legislation on Aug 25,2005. The scheme provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household at a wage of Rs 120 per day. So almost after five years of its commencement can NREGA be considered a success ? This essay will consider a number of explanations for concluding the impact of NREGA. My argument would be that definitely NREGA has been a success. First of all we need to remember that NREGA is a programme without precedent. No other employment programme has even come close to being implemented on such a large scale. So the output can’t be compared to that of any other programmes.
Taking into account the success story of the Pandurni village in the Nanded district of Maharastra which won the award for the best performance in implementing the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for 2009-2010, we can see that around 1500 people from the village are registered under this scheme from which around 800 have been benifited from it. Pandurni has completed over 100 irrigation projects. Of these projects one that has been remarkable is the rocky bund built by around 200 villagers, to prevent soil erosion. Officials claim that implementation of the scheme on such a large scale here has prevented the migration of labourers to other districts.
Similar success stories have also been reported from various villages of Rajasthan. NREGA has created more work for rural people than any other programme since independence. If we look at the coverage of the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe, if we look at the participation of women, if we look at the financial inclusion that we have achieved about more than 10 crore bank accounts and post office accounts that have been opened for NREGA workers then a lot can be said in terms of its achievements.
It can be agreed to a fact that nothing in this world is an unmixed blessing. I agree if the NREGA has good side, it has a bad side also. But the ill effects have been largely due to corruption in our country. Its because of that only the ‘aam admi’(ordinary people) are not able to avail the proper benifits of the scheme. NREGA is a scheme which if implemented properly can benefit the labour class of our country.