Modi launches rural employment scheme for returnee migrants

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched his government’s ambitious ‘Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan’, which aims to provide employment to migrants who returned to their home states following the nationwide lockdown.

Modi launched the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan via videoconference in the presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and other officials. The scheme was formally launched from Telihar village in Bihar’s Khagaria district via videoconferencing.

Speaking at the launch event, Modi declared, “My labourer friends, the country understands your emotions and your needs. Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan, starting from Khagaria, Bihar, is a major tool to fulfil this need and emotion.” Modi noted the scheme would help develop villages. “It is our endeavour that workers get jobs near home; till now you were developing cities, now you will help your village,” Modi said.

Modi praised the way villages in the country had responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Modi was quoted by ANI as saying, “COVID-19 is a huge menace, the whole world has been shaken by it but you stood tall. The way India’s villages have fought corona, it has taught a lesson even to the cities.”

The Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan is an employment scheme that is estimated to have an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore. The Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan will primarily focus on six states to where maximum number of migrant workers have returned.

This massive rural public works scheme will empower and provide livelihood for 125 days to the returnee migrants, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday at a curtain-raiser press briefing on the initiative.

A total of 116 districts with more than 25,000 migrant workers each across Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha have been chosen for the campaign and includes 27 aspirational districts, Sitharaman said.

These districts are estimated to cover about two-thirds of such migrant workers.

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