GKRA ropes in Jal Jeevan Mission to provide Livelihood of returnee workers

Jul 5: As the whole world is fighting corona virus, Union Government led by Prime Minister Modi is converting this huge challenge to an opportunity, especially for the rural areas by making plan for livelihood provision as well as boosting rural economy. In this context, Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA) has been launched, on 20.06.2020, to start extensive public works to provide livelihood opportunities and create local employment to returnee migrants and similarly affected rural citizens. This time-bound campaign spanning over 125 days, will involve intensive and focused implementation in 116 districts including 27 aspirational districts, spread in 6 States viz Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

As part of this Abhiyan, Jal Jeevan Mission aims at providing household tap connections to every rural household and offers a huge opportunity to engage skilled, semi-skilled and migrant returnees in drinking water supply related works. States have been requested to start works in villages of these districts so that it will not only help to ensure adequate quantity of water at household level but will also help in providing employment to migrant returnees. States have been advised to prioritize taking up works of ‘low hanging fruits’ i.e. by augmenting or retrofitting existing piped water supply schemes so that these villages become ‘Har Ghar Jal Gaon’ i.e. 100% Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) villages. There is a huge potential to provide household connections to remaining households in villages belonging to poor and marginalized people by retro-fitting of existing piped water supply systems.

As this campaign is time-bound and with specific outputs, this needs targeted planning for successful implementation. Number of FHTCs planned to be provided in every GKRA village, corresponding fund utilization plan, 100% FHTC coverage plan for villages, blocks and districts resulting in creation of employment opportunities for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled migrant returnees and villagers are major outputs/ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and States have been requested to work on these aspects. Campaigns to be launched for providing training to impart skills to local people including returnee migrants in plumbing, masonry, electrical aspects, pump operation, etc., so that skilled manpower will be available for water supply related works. Apart from this, completion of village action plans (VAPs), capacity building of members of Gram Panchayat/ Village Water & Sanitation Committee/ Paani Samiti, IEC activities, etc. are to be carried out. Special attention is being given to the ‘Aspirational districts’ identified for this Abhiyan.

First review meeting for works under JJM has been held with these identified States and they have been advised to prepare fortnightly district and village-wise coverage plan for implementing the ‘Abhiyan’ with special focus on aspirational districts.

This ambitious campaign will not only improve the lives of rural people by providing household tap connections through implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission, but also create rural employment and boost the rural economy.