Covid-19: PM Modi launches 'Garib Kalyan Rojgar' scheme for migrant workers

PM Narendra Modi launches 'Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan' through video conferencing. Photo: ANI
With a view to increase rural employment, especially among migrant workers who have returned home during the Covid-19 lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan. The programme, launched from village Telihar in Bihar's Khagaria district was launched by the prime minister via video-conferencing.

"Today is a historic day, a scheme for the welfare and for the livelihood of the poor has been started. It is dedicated to the workers, to the youths and women living in villages. The majority of these include those who have returned to their villages during the lockdown, they want to develop their village through their efforts and skill," Modi said at the launch of the event.

"The country understands both your feelings and your requirements. The program being started through Khagaria today is a medium to meet your requirements. It will be run in 116 villages in six states," he added.

The Prime Minister in his speech credited workers for giving him the idea of starting this scheme.

The launch of the event was attended by Union Minister for Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar, and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and CM Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot.

Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, Chief Secretaries of Odisha and Jharkhand, along with Chairman, Railway Board, among others, also attended the launch event.

The Prime Minister also held a conversation with officials and workers from Khagaria, Bihar, through video conferencing, during the event.

Beginning his address the Prime Minister said that every Bihari is proud of the valour shown by the personnel of 16 Bihar regiment in the violent face-off with Chinese troops which took place on June 15-16 in Ladakh.

"The country is proud of the sacrifice made by our braves in Ladakh. Today when I am speaking to people of Bihar, I will say the valour was of Bihar Regiment, every Bihari is proud of it. I pay tributes to the braves who laid down their lives for the nation," Modi said in his address.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman had provided a preview of the scheme on Thursday, 18 June when she said that the government will provide jobs to over 6 million migrant workers in six states by bringing together 25 government schemes under one umbrella.

The finance minister said that central and state governments had mapped the skills of these migrant workers and devised this programme to help them find work closer home. The programme would help build assets in these districts.

Union minister for Rural Development, Narendra Singh Tomar informed that these 25 government schemes of 11 ministries will be brought under one umbrella and the programme which will run for 125 days will try to provide employment to 6 million workers in these 116 districts.

The six states which had the highest influx of migrants who have “settled” in their districts were: Bihar (32 districts), Uttar Pradesh (31), Madhya Pradesh (24), Rajasthan (22), Odisha (4) and Jharkhand (3). These states had 116 districts, each with at least 25,000 returning migrant workers who will benefit from the plan.

The money will go towards construction of national highways and rural road connectivity, construction of wells, plantation, railway activities, community sanitation complex, horticulture, farm ponds, cattle sheds, among others. The Krishi Vigyan Kendras in villages will also help in imparting skills to the workers. The workers will be paid according to the stipulated minimum wage in the respective schemes of the government.

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