The miserable plight of MGNREGA employees

Dear Editor,
I would like to share the plight of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) staffs of Upper Subansiri, Arunachal Pradesh. We were appointed in 2006 through open competition conducted by the district administration. Since then we have been discharging our duties with all sincerity without complaining about our meagre salary.
We are working like any other staffs in other departments. And MGNREGA is so far most successful scheme having covered all the villages of our state by reaching the targeted beneficiaries.
But staffs like us are the most neglected employees in the country.
Our salaries have not been paid for more than 15 months. There is hike in salary of many contractual employees like SSA. The govt. is also considering regularization of services of employees of other centrally aided programme. But we are being overlooked.
Despite our numerous appeals the state govt is not paying attention to us. Why don’t they see our hard work?
Equal pay for equal work is nothing but only to be mocked at in our case. Even the daily labour earn more than the graduate employees of MGNREGA. Our services are used in election duty, Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) without any honorarium. And when it comes to seek assistance from these departments they give us cold response by telling us that we don’t belong to their department.
Our condition is such that all the employees have crossed age limit to try for any govt. Job. We too have families to support. Costs of living have invariably increased during last 10 years. Those having better opportunities have engaged themselves in better places giving up hope in MGNREGA. But there are still many like us who do not have anything to do other than MGNREGA work.
Our last hope died with the unfortunate demise of former CM Dorjee Khandu who understood our problem and promised to address our grievances.
With high hope we submitted our grievances in the form of Memorandum to our young Chief Minister during BJP’s Mega rally at Daporijo last year. Still we are serving without any complaint and agitation unlike others. But our patience shouldn’t be taken for granted either.
Jamun Dui,
MGNREGA Employees Association,
Upper Subansiri