GOALPARA, March 10: The much awaited innovative idea of sending SMS alert on government schemes was successfully launched in Goalpara ( Assam) and with this the people’s perception regarding the government Schemes has changed to great extent in the whole district.
A press release issued here said that the launch of the SMS alert system, which has been done by an European Union (EU) Funded project, has created a buzz among the tive villagers of the district as the people whom previously hesitated to go for enrolment of the schemes could now get the updated information at the click of the button.
The project is being implemented by the ACTED and NEICORD in seven districts of the North East India. As per this initiative, the bulk SMSs are being sent to the various stake holders making them aware and updated about the Government schemes, said the Regiol Project coorditor Nongyai Heikrujam
From the baseline survey it has been found that the major reason for the backwardness of the districts in terms of availing benefits of various government schemes is the lack of awareness amongst the rural populace about the schemes, informed the NEICORD program director Tongkhomang Haokip.
The basic motto behind the launch of this idea is to reach out the rural populace of this backward district and make them aware regarding the 10 government schemes which are proposed under the ambitious project of ACTED under the aegis of European Union, said Nongyai.
Initially 2 SMS alerts were sent on MGNREGA scheme on trial basis has been sent to the people , as there has been a widespread allegation of heavy corruption undergoing in the me of this scheme mentioned Haokip
According to Haokip people who were supposed to get 100 days guaranteed wages under this scheme were not getting it as per the MGNREGA schemes and in certain cases where the number of days are fulfilled but there payments have been blocked.
As per the sources approximately 7,000 SMSs were delivered to the rural populace of the Goalpara district till the end of January 2016. These SMSs were a part of the 2 million SMS credit which were generated by ACTED as a part of the project.
According to Nongyai based on the experience of SMS alert very soon the voice alert system will also be started so as reach to even those who are illiterate and can’t read the SMS.
Haokip also mentioned that it is for the first time that technology is being used at this level so as to reach the common rural people. He hoped that with the passing of these bulk SMSs information on government schemes will now be available in every hand without depending on any other source of media to do the same.
A special training was organized so as to train the volunteers on the approach to collect the phone numbers from the tive rural villagers.
Greater care has been taken on collection of mobile number from the beneficiaries, as it would be the key factor for making this move successful.
It is noteworthy that ACTED with the support European Union and active implementation of NEICORD is working amidst seven districts of the North East for improving access to information and delivery of public scheme in remote and backward districts of North East India . Apart from MNREGA the other information which will be available on SMS alert are Jani Sishu Suraksha Karyakram, Integrated Child Development Services, Indira Awas Yoj, Mid Day meal Scheme, Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yoj, Total sanitation campaign( Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan), Rajiv Gandhi Grameen VIdyuti karan Yoja, tiol Social Assistance Yoja, tiol Social Assistance Program, Targeted Public Distribution System etc.