Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 June 2020 launched an employment scheme (Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan) with an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore for migrant workers who returned to their home states during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Launching the scheme, Modi said during the nationwide lockdown, the talent from cities returned to villages and it will now give a boost to development of rural areas. The 'Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan' will be implemented on a mission mode in 125 days in 116 districts of six states -- Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha -- that received the maximum numbers of migrant workers back.
  1. It will help expedite implementation of 25 public infrastructure works and those related to augmentation of livelihood opportunities.
  2. These 25 works are related to rural housing for the poor, plantations, provision of drinking water through Jal Jeevan Mission, and construction of panchayat bhavans, community toilets, rural mandis, rural roads, cattle sheds and anganwadi bhavans, according to the Ministry of Rural Development, which is the nodal ministry for the project.
  3. The scheme was launched weeks after lakhs of migrant workers returned to their home states following loss of employment in urban centres due to the nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19.
  4. Under the scheme, the basket of a wide variety of works will ensure that each migrant worker is able to get an opportunity of employment according to his skill in the coming 125 days, the programme will also prepare for expansion and development of livelihoods over a longer term.
  5. Talent has returned from cities during the lockdown, those whose labour and skills were behind the rapid growth of cities will now boost development of villages with the help of this scheme, PM said.
  6. Underlining that migrant workers were always in the Centre's thoughts during the lockdown, the prime minister said it is an endeavour of his government that workers get jobs near their home and help in development of villages.
  7. This scheme will focus on durable rural infrastructure and providing modern facilities like Internet in the villages.
  8. The Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan was launched by Modi via video conference in a village in Khagaria district of Bihar in the presence of the chief ministers of five states -- Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand -- and a minister from Odisha.
  9. The mission will be a convergent effort between 12 different ministries/ departments such as Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport and Highways, Mines, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, New and Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom, and Agriculture.
  10. The prime minister said he got the idea for the scheme from a group of migrant workers, trained in white washing, who repaired and painted a government school in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh as a thank you gesture.
  11. A total of 25,000 "returnee" migrant workers across Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha have been chosen for the campaign. Garib Kalyan Rozgyar Abhiyan is separate from the MGNREGS.
  12. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) ensures 100 days of employment per household in a year.
  13. MGNREGS is applicable across the country and a large number of works are allowed under the scheme even working on own farms by small Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe farmers is allowed and the government pays wages to them.
  14. The Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana is a one-time scheme for providing employment to migrant workers who returned during the lockdown near their villages.
  15. This scheme is only applicable to 116 districts with a selected list of works initially for 125 days. Later it could be extended.
Key points of the Scheme
  1. The 'Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan' campaign is for our 'shramik' workers who returned to their villages during the lockdown. They want to put their skills to use and contribute to the development of their villages.
  2. The campaign is of 125 days, which will work in mission mode. It will involve intensified and focused implementation of 25 different types of works to provide employment to migrant workers on one hand and create infrastructure in the rural regions of the country on the other, with a resource envelope of Rs 50,000 crore.
  3. Migrant workers engaged in every type of profession will get work in 'Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan', skill mapping of workers has been done, women will be linked with self-help groups so that they are able to get maximum items for their family.
  4. 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.
  5. The 25 schemes of the government will be brought together and would help build gram panchayat bhawans and aganwadi centres, assist in national highway works, railway works and water conservation projects among others.