Oct 312016
 

Welfare Schemes and Their Implementation Through Aadhar card

There are many welfare schemes that have been launched by the government, but are they all being able to provide the right sort of help? It is true that there was a long standing need of an umbrella identification process that would have ideally made all the welfare schemes easy going and faster. Perhaps it is in the quest for the same can be seen in the next incident.

Welfare Schemes and Their Implementation Through Aadhar card

From Ranchi, you will have to follow a highway to reach a place called Maryam Toal which lies right in the heart of Jharkhand. This is one of the most remote villages of this place. The highway is laiden with mango trees. As you might have already guessed, the occupation of this place is around mango trees. The prime festival celebrated here is Karma which is a festival dedicated to rich harvests.

In this village, which is framed by the Sankh River and the forest, there was a class being held by the government. Albeit, there was scorching heat from the sun, but it all came down to the fact that this place does have its own mango plantation. There would be about 55 kuchcha houses in this region and as you know, mango trees grow in abundance here. This is why the people here were being given lessons in “Aam Bagwani” which is the other name for mango plantation.

This project entirely was an undertaking of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme or NREGA. As you know, the aim of this program is to provide jobs to everyone in the rural areas.

By the description given, you can clearly understand that this place is very interior and that the rural occupants of this region are very secluded with their river and their forest. Perhaps this is the reason why it took the Government representatives 10 long years to reach Maryam Tola. The villagers were shockingly not even a part of Census 2011. They had not even heard about MNREGA or Indira Awas Yojana – let alone take advantage of these schemes for their benefit.

It must be mentioned that the Indira Awas Yojana is not even a new scheme. It was an old scheme that was launched in the year 1985 for giving houses for the poor. But they had not heard about this scheme and so they remained unaware of its benefits.

When asked about the Swachcha Bharat Mission, these people were clueless because the buzz about the much hyped sanitation mission had not reached them. When asked, the poor villagers said that the schemes lose their way before reaching them. This is the sorry state of the region nearby. In fact, when the officials reached them for planting mango orchards, it was the first time they had been associated with a development scheme.

There are still many regions in the country where such schemes have not reached. Maryam Tola in Jharkhand is just one of them. This is why we can understand why the government is now giving a push to the village regions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new schemes are all aimed towards rural areas and are intended to give these regions a push. The reason why this might have been done is quite evident now.

By the renewed aims and missions, it is well known that the government aims to make a “swachha bharat” or Clean India and to give houses to all by 2019. This date happens to coincide with the next election dates therefore setting a target for the first 5 years is a good way for the government to look back at their achievements or under performance.

Indira Awas Yojana has wished to bring shelter over the heads of the poor. Its revamped version Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana does exactly the same but with clear divisions. There are houses worth 1.2 lakh each to be constructed for the lower income groups and economically weaker sections.

Earlier the money allocated for building toilets under the Swachcha Bharat Abhiyaan had been doubled to Rs. 12000 in 2014. All of these initiatives are increasing in their pricing, but they will only be useful to the masses if they are being constructed and reaching the rural populace.

So what is obstructing these from reaching them?

The obstruction is one that of infrastructure because some of the problems being faced by these people is –

  • Incorrect entries or mismatch of the bank account numbers. Some are having delayed payments to construct houses because of these verification issues.
  • Only about 55% of the payments under MNREGA are on time – as per the data given to the government. Most of the payment does not reach the beneficiary on time.
  • The villagers of Maryam Tola, on coming to know about the Awas Yojana, had applied for the same. They had asked to be funded but the funds have only reached them on paper.

According to them, those funds have been allocated to them only on paper and have never reached them at all. The villagers said that the government should enquire how many new houses have been constructed and how many people have actually shifted into those houses.

What are the studies saying?

A panel of experts was sent to gauge the practical implications of these issues and what they found out about this issue was really broad. They found that

  • Most of these gaps in the implementation were due to delay in payments for the MNREGA scheme and poor road maintenance in the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, etc.
  • The key issue is that those towards whom these programmes are targeted are unaware of such programmes. This means that the villagers and the low income groups have no clue they can get benefitted from these.

To monitor the state of the issues the Common Review Mission will once again make a roundabout survey. However, first steps are to be taken to remove these problems.

What is the government doing to remove these obstacles?

To remove this issue the Rural Development Ministry has launched an Integrated Participatory Planning Exercise in 2014. The idea here is for State to make the village people work for their villages to make these issues reach their respective villages. As it is best understood that the person from the particular village will be more aware of the issues within their region, the government has panned out this idea. They will build more rural connect by appointing the rural populace directly into the implementation stage.

An example of this is the “Yojana Banao Abhiyaan” that started in the Maryam Tola village. This scheme was launched in the year 2016 and all the villagers joined this scheme. They were actively involved in the planning and the implementation, for the upliftment of their village. This was the classic example of the state and the villages working together. This is basically what the government is aiming to replicate to help the rest of the villages in the country.

The government aims to address these issues by getting hold of a stakeholder who they think have a greater chance of succeeding at this job. Who comes to your mind? According to the government it is none other than the women!

Women have played a major role in mobilizing the self help groups towards helping the rural areas and therefore it makes sense that they will take the help of women to make sure the rural areas are getting the help that they need.

How Aadhar card comes in this scenario?

Apart from the steps already taken by the government, the Unique Identity or UID card that has been recently issued in the form of Aadhar card will be of very much use. The Aadhar card contains a biometric database that will make the payments directly to the beneficiaries. This will help weed out the fraudulent activities that don’t let the money reach those who are in need.

According to Rural Development secretary Amarjeet Sinha, the most challenging thing for the implementation of MNREGA was that the masses were uninformed and oblivious to it. This was a major setback in establishing this scheme.

Also the government has launched the National Electronic Fund Management System (NEFMS) to ensure that the funds are reaching the people in time. Only 28% payments were made in 2014. But now the NEFMS is available in over 10 states.

But more than these, there is a three pronged approach that the government has taken to that will help the people:

  • First of all is the identity establishment through Aadhar. This means that the identification data will be created and located in government databases.
  • The elgibility for the different schemes can also be found out pretty easily – removing any miscreants. The Socio Economic and Caste Census will be used to determine this.
  • It will also guarantee that there is accountability. Special features like geo tagging assets and using space programmes will be implemented for this purpose.

However, Saxena has said that to alleviate poverty, Aadhar card is not required. But we can see that so many steps will become easier if the Aadhar card is used for identification and verification.

Overview

As of now we can come to the conclusion that Aadhar Card will be able to solve the issues that arise from lack of management. However there are a few points for you to note if you have missed them –

Serial No. Frequently Asked Questions Data
1 How many kuchcha houses in the village? 55
2 Percentage of households with no literate above 25 years of age 23.52
3 MNREGA work mostly taken up by Women

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