Village, villagers and migrants – the tone of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the launch of Rs 50,000 cr Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan Yojna – a rural mega job scheme targeted at returnee migrant workers was loud and clear.
Hailing the role played by villages in successfully containing the spread of coronavirus, the Prime minister acknowledged, “India is a country with more than 6 lakh villages, where more than two-thirds of its population, which is about 80-85 crore people, lives. The rural India has effectively prevented the spread of infection. This population is even more than that of all the countries of Europe.”
The scheme which is aimed at the returnee migrant workers is a massive rural public employment scheme which seeks to provide livelihood opportunities to them along with other rural citizens.
Modi, addressing the migrant labourers, remarked, “The country understands your emotions as well as your needs. Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan starting from Khagaria, Bihar is a major tool to fulfil that very need.”
Joining the video conference, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, “During the lockdown, I interacted through video conference with labourers in different districts after they returned to the state. I realised that they don’t want to go elsewhere for work”.
The migrant crisis emerged as a political headache for the BJP-JDU combine in the state which will go to polls later this year. This scheme is expected to address much of its socio-economic concerns.
At least 25,000 migrant workers who returned home in the wake of the pandemic will be benefited in states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha. UP and Bihar took the bulk of the load of the reverse migration.
The scheme that seeks to give means to the migrant workers to earn a living will involve intensified implementation of 25 different types of works which in turn will create rural infrastructure.
PM Modi also mentioned about investment of Rs 1 lakh cr for building cold storage facilities to preserve agricultural produce. He also urged them to wear masks and maintain basic hygiene while going to work.
The Prime Minister began his address by remembering the sacrifice of our martyrs. “Everyone is proud of Bihar Regiment’s valour. Each and every Bihari is very proud of it,” he said.
The bulk of the fatalities and injury in the India-China violent clash was from Bihar regiment, which also lost its Commanding Officer Colonel B. Santosh Babu.