Shillong, July 4: Innovation in implementing the Mahatma Gandhi tiol Employment Generation Scheme (MNREGS) has brought a positive change to at least 5,000 families under Mylliem Community and Rural Block (C&RD) area of East Khasi Hills district.
Unlike the normal utilisation of the 100 working days programme that ends up in making village roads and footpaths as visible in many parts of the state, the Mylliem C&RD block office took a new initiative by encouraging the villagers to take up piggery, poultry and dairy farming.
During the past three years, 5,100 households have benefited from the MNREGS where funds meant for the 100 days have been channelized to the beneficiaries (job card holders) for such productive ventures. This diversion of the fincial aid is carried out on the basis of the village employment councils (VECs) since the Rs 169 daily payment is not attractive to the villagers. Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to The Sentinel said that the impression that they had got all this while is that the MNREGS was meant only for making roads and footpaths.
“It is the path-breaking move of the Mylliem C&RD block that has transformed the lives of many people,” stated Daiamon Shisha Kshiar, a woman from Sadew village who started utilising the funds by procuring 100 chicks for her poultry farm. She said after starting her poultry farm she is now earning a net amount of Rs 40,000 every three to four months. “More and more people in and around Sadew village are taking up poultry and piggery in a bigger way,” she added.
Those who are into piggery, especially those from Maweiti village, also echoed a similar voice. Mansuis Kharmon said, “In my village there are 103 pens that were constructed in the past two years. Besides the Rs 42,000 that is earmarked for construction of hygienic pens, an additiol amount of Rs 8,420 is deposited to our accounts for procuring piglets.”
The dairy farmers also said that the money they received through the MNREGS was a big boon to them since they could further develop the sheds that were earlier thatched or wooden.
Mylliem C&RD Block Development Officer (BDO) PT Passah claimed, “In my block, around 3,000 families have utilised the funds for poultry. Similarly, 1,930 families who are into piggery and 63 dairy farmers have also benefited.” The BDO further claimed that since the implementation of the Central scheme in an innovative manner, many residents are now having a job card. He further added that at the request of the different VECs, his office plans to raise another 2,000 odd farms in the coming year.