An employment -cum- rural public works Campaign for 67 lakh migrant workers titled “Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA)” has been launched for 6 states viz. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Madhya Pradesh (MP), Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the lines of the announcement made in Rs 20 Lakh crore Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The outlay of this campaign is Rs 50,000 Crores and the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) is the nodal Ministry for its implementation.
- GKRA was launched via video conference from village Telihar, Block Beldaur, district Khagariab Bihar in the presence of Chief Ministers (CMs) of five states viz. Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Yogi Adityanth (Uttar Pradesh), Ashok Gehlot (Rajasthan), Hemant Soren (Jharkhand) and a minister from Odisha, among others.
About GKRA- Public works to be implemented in 125 days in 116 Districts of 6 States
GKRA, the mission mode campaign of 125 days will cover 116 districts comprising more than 25,000 returnee migrant workers each across 6 states. Under this 25 public work areas of Rs 50,000 Cr have been identified for employment in villages. Public works means building durable rural infrastructure
- The 116 districts consist of 32 from Bihar, 31 from UP, 24 from MP, 22 from Rajasthan, 4 from Odisha, and 3 from Jharkhand. Apart from 116 districts, there are aspirational districts too including 12 in Bihar, 5 in UP, 4 in MP, 2 in Rajasthan, 1 in Odisha, and 3 in Jharkhand.
- Objective– To empower and provide livelihood opportunities in areas/ villages witnessing large numbers of returnee migrant workers affected by the devastating COVID-19.
- The Program will also prepare for expansion and development of livelihoods over a longer term.
Work identified for employment in villages: It includes rural housing for the poor, Plantations, provision of drinking water through Jal Jeevan mission, Panchayat Bhavans, community toilets, rural mandis, rural roads, other infrastructure like Cattle Sheds, Anganwadi Bhavans etc.
- Notably, lying of fibre cable and provision of internet are also made a part of the GKRA as it is for the first time that the rural areas are using more internet than the urban areas therefore it is necessary to provide high speed and cheap internet in every rural household to help the youth and children.
Ministries included in GKRA: The Abhiyaan will be a convergent effort between 12 different Ministries/Departments where MoRD is the nodal Ministry and its implementation will be done in collaboration with Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture, along with state governments.
Difference between MGNREGS and GKRA
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) ensures 100 days of employment per household in a year whereas GKRA is a one-time scheme of 125 days for providing employment to migrant workers who returned during the lockdown near their villages.
Union Minister– Narendra Singh Tomar
Minister of State (MoS)– Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti
Secretary– Nagendra Nath Sinha