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A Study on the Performance of NREGS in Kerala

Sponsored by MINISTRY OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT GOVT. OF INDIA NEW DELHI

Funded by UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP) NEW DELHI

DEPARTMENT OF EXTENSION EDUCATION


GANDHIGRAM RURAL INSTITUTE
(Member, Professional Institutional Network of NREGA)

GANDHIGRAM - 624 302 DINDIGUL DISTIRCT TAMILNADU

Acknowledgement

We sincerely express our deep sense of gratitude to Dr.Rita Sharma IAS, Secretary and Ms.Amita Sharma IAS, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India for providing us a wonderful opportunity of associating ourselves in a very significant and an unprecedented scheme in the annals of rural development in the country. A series of meetings arranged and addressed by them on the various issues related to NREGS has helped us to have a firm grip over the subject. We are thankful to Ms. Neelakshi Mann, Consultant, Department of Rural development for her support in conducting the study. We express our deep sense of gratitude to UNDP for their funding support in undertaking the study. We are thankful to Shri. S.M. Vijayanand IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Local Self Governance, Government of Kerala, for extending necessary inputs and support in carrying out the study. His suggestions, especially at the initial stage of study, on the methodology and in selecting sample districts and blocks were of immense help to us. We are also indebted to Shri. T.K.Jose IAS, Secretary, Department of Local Self Governance, Govt.of Kerala, for extending necessary support in the initial stages of the study. We acknowledge our sincere thanks to Shri. V.N. Jithendran IAS, Mission Director, NREGA, who has been constantly helping us throughout the study. His critical comments on tools for data collection have helped us in fine-tuning the tools. We extend our special thanks and appreciation to Shri.B.S.Thirumeni, Joint Development Commissioner, NREGA, Government of Kerala for his co-operation and support in undertaking the study. We thank all the DPAU Coordinators- Shri. Unnikrishnan Nair of Palakakd district, Shri. C.V.Joy of Wayanad district, Shri. K.Rajendran of Idukki district and Shri. K.Janardhanan Pillai of Palakkad district for their continuous support in gathering all the required data regarding NREGS and for facilitating the field work.

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There are many officials at various administrative capacities who facilitated and helped us in organizing and conducting the field work. We wholehearted acknowledge and appreciate the help rendered by them. The officials are Shri.P.Vinod Kumar, Executive Director of Maithri and his staff and volunteers, Smt. Santhakumari, Chairperson, Chittoor block standing committee, Shri. P.V. Radhakrishanan, BPO- Attapady Block, Shri D.Dhanapalan- Block Plan Coordinator, Shri. K.Kesavan, BPO- Chittoor Block, Shri. C.P.Ananthan, Joint BDO- Chittoor block, Shri. Venugopal, Joint BDO- Veliyanadu Block, Shri. R. Ubendrachenai, BDOChambakkulam Block, Shri. Besi, Joint BDO- Mananthavady Block, Shri. BasheerAsst. Project Officer, Alappuzha, Shri. Hari, BDO, Adimali block, Shri. Viswan, Joint BDO Adimali, Shri. C.J.John, Joint BDO Devikulam block and Shri. P.S.Arun, Assitt. Engineer, Wayand District. We record our hearty thanks to Block Panchayat Presidents, Gram Panchayat Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Ward Members, members of Vigilance Committee and Social Audit Committee of Palakakd, Wayanad, Idukki and Alappuzha Districts, whose field support during the study were of great help in the successful completion of the study We place it on record our sincere thanks to all the respondents and participants of the focus group discussion for spending their valuable time with us in providing required data and information. We express our heartfelt thanks to our Vice Chancellor, Dr. SM. Ramasamy, who is a source of energy and inspiration to us. We are thankful to the authorities of the Gandhigram Rural Institute for their support and help in processing the project related papers in time. We thank Dr. R. Ramesh, Research Fellow for going through the draft version of the manuscript. We thank Shri.B.Baskar Assistant Professor and Ms.Kaveri Assistant Professor for extending their service in data compilation and tabulation. We thank Shri.R.Saravanan for his meticulous work in formatting the report.

Members of Study Team

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The Team
Dr.N.Narayanasamy Dr.M.P.Boraian Dr.S.Manivel Shri.M.P.Saji Dr.P.Sebastian Shri.R.Dhavamani Ms.Annu Lalan Ms.G.Geethanjali Shri.P.Maruthai Pandian : : : : : : : : : Coordinator Coordinator Associate Associate Field Team Leader Field Team Leader Field Team Leader Field Team Leader Computer Operator

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Contents
List of Tables List of Figures List of Boxes Abbreviations Executive Summary

Chapters 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. An overview Design of the Study

Particulars National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

Page 1 17 26 40 61 124 141 144 146 156

Profile of Kerala and the Districts Chosen for the Study Socio-economic Profile of Sample Households Performance of NREGS in Kerala Summary of Findings and Inferences Recommendations Reference Annexure i) Household Interview Schedule ii) Check list

List of Tables
Chapter 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Chapter 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Chapter 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 Chapter 5 5.1 : 5.2 : 5.3 : 5.4 : Performance of NREGS at State level and selected sample Districts of Kerala Awareness about NREGS: Sources Awareness on Main Provisions of NREGS Year of Registration 63 65 66 68 : Age of the Sample Population : Literacy Status of the Sample Population : Number of Disabled among sample population : Housing details of the Sample Households : Source of Drinking Water for the sample households : Main Occupation of the Sample Population Subsidiary Occupation of the Sample Population : Livestock Owned by Sample Households : Household Assets of the Sample Respondents : Annual Expenditure (in percentage) : Purpose of Borrowing of the sample population : Extent of Loan Borrowed by the Sample Households : Amount Repaid : Interest Rate : Migration of Sample Household : Number of Persons Migrated from the Household : Reasons for migration : Place of Migration : Social Participation as a Member in CBOs and CSIs 41 43 43 44 46 47 48 49 50 51 54 55 55 56 57 57 57 58 59 : District Profile : District wise population profile (as per 2001 census) : Education specific WPR per persons of age 15 years and above : Employment in Kerala An overview 27 28 32 33 Tables : NREGA - National Overview : Person days employed per household : Share of women in NREGS employment : Share of wages in total expenditure Page 5 12 13 13

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5.5 : 5.6 : 5.7 : 5.8 : 5.9 : 5.10 : 5.11 : 5.12 : 5.13 : 5.14 : 5.15 : 5.16 : 5.17 : 5.18 : 5.19 : 5.20 : 5.21 : 5.22 : 5.23 : 5.24 : 5.25 : 5.26 : 5.27 : 5.28 : 5.29 : 5.30 : 5.31 : 5.32 : 5.33 : 5.34 : 5.35 : 5.36 : 5.37 : 5.38 :

Time lag between the Application and Issue of Job Card Selection of Works Items of Works Undertaken Receipt of Dated Receipt Time lag between the Application and Provision of Employment Community-wise average number of days employed Participation in Works Distance between residence and place of work Working hours Facilities available at the work site Adequacy of the worksite facilities Facilities required at the worksite Who provided tools for the work in the worksite Problems faced at the worksite Wages earned under the scheme Maximum wage earned under the scheme Mode of payment of wage Time lag between date of completion of work and receipt of wages Difference between wages under NREGS and the prevailing wages for other than NREGS work Impact of NREGS on the family income Impact of NREGS on the expenditure Spending pattern of the wages earned under NREGS Impact of the NEREGS on the Saving (Per annum) Impact of NREGS on livestock Impact of the NREGS on women empowerment Migration to other areas in search of job before the introduction of the NREGS The level and intensity of migration after the introduction of NREGS Benefits of NREGS to HH Benefits of the NREGS for the Panchayat Changes that the Scheme has brought in the Panchayat Change in the relationship among the Households after the introduction of NREGS Participation in Grama Sabha Meeting Matters Discussed on NREGS in Grama Sabha Performance of NREGS as perceived by the beneficiaries (District wise Scoring)

69 72 73 76 77 80 82 83 85 86 86 87 88 89 91 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 99 100 101 102 103 104 106 108 109 114 115 118

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List of Figures
No. 3.1 3.2 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 5.1. 5.2 5.3 5.4 Particulars : Age-wise Distribution of Population in Kerala : Sectoral contribution to state economy : Population and Gender : Caste Composition of the Sample Households : Details on Housing Type of Sample households : Electricity Connection in Sample Households : Households with Latrine Facilities : Annual Income of the Sample Households : SHG Membership of Women from Sample Households : Sources of borrowing of the sample households : Employment sought under NREGS : Average Number of days of employed : Number of Respondents employed for 100 days per annum : Mode of Transport Page 29 30 40 42 44 45 46 51 54 58 75 79 81 84

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List of Boxes
No. 1.1 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 : : : : : Particulars NREGS vis-a-vis. earlier employment Programmes Priority of Works The multiplier effects of NREGA Age Has Not Withered Away the Spirit to Work NREGS enabled to come out of the vicious cycle of poverty: The case of two sisters 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 6.1 6.2 6.3 : : : : : : : : NREGA assures stable income: The case of Subadra Regenerating agriculture through NREGA A pond in a private land for a common purpose Prevention of men animal conflict NREGA vs SGRY NREGA enhanced the credibility of the poor NREGA Lends a Helping Hand to the Victim of Agrarian Crisis I need not go with empty stomach with the introduction of NREGA 6.4 6.5 6.6 : : : Water-body retained NREGS Empowered Socially Marginalized Woman NREGA facilitated socialization 137 137 138 105 107 107 108 112 135 136 136 Page 15 72 95 98 98

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List of Abbreviations AAP ADS APL BDO BPL BPO CBOs CDS CSIs DPAU DRDA FGD GDP GNP GP GS HH IAY IMR KILA MMR NGO NREGA NREGS NREP PRI PWP RD SC SGRY SHGs SIRD ST : Anthyodaya Anna Poorna : Area Development Society : Above Poverty Line : Block Development Officer : Below Poverty Line : Block Programme Officer : Community Based Organizations : Community Development Society : Civil Society Institutions : District Poverty Alleviation Unit : District Rural Development Agencies : Focus Group Discussion : Gross Domestic Product : Gross National Product : Gram Panchayat : Gram Sabha : Household : Indira Awas Yojana : Infant Mortality Rate : Kerala Institute of Local Administration : Maternal Mortality Rate : Non Governmental Organization : National Rural Employment Guarantee Act : National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme : National Rural Employment Programme : Panchayati Raj Institutions : Public Works Programme : Rural Development : Scheduled Caste : Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana : Self Help Groups : State Institute of Rural Development : Scheduled Tribe

Executive Summary
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was launched in February 2006 in two districts viz., Palakkad and Wayanad, and subsequently grounded in the remaining 12 districts of Kerala. The scheme has been steadily and surely taking roots in the soil of rural Kerala. 23.30 lakh households have registered under the scheme. 43.4 per cent of them sought and got employment under the scheme. Women participation is very high with 80 percent of the total beneficiaries under the scheme. The present study is about the performance of NREGS in Kerala. The broad objective of the study is to analyze the functioning of NREGS in Kerala encompassing all its essential aspects. More specifically the study aims at analyzing the extent to which the scheme has generated employment, assessing the impact of the scheme on selected variables, and ascertaining the limitations and constrains faced by the functionaries in implementing the scheme. The study employed a combination of methods, viz., survey, focus group discussion, case study, interview with key informants and review of secondary sources of data. Four of the 14 districts in Kerala have been chosen for the study based on geographical location, period of implementation (Phase I, II and III) and concentration of agriculture labour and SC/ST population. Using multi stage sampling process, two blocks from each district, four panchayats from each block (except one block where three panchayats are chosen) and 20 respondents from each panchayat were chosen for the study. Socio-economic profile of the sample households indicate that their family size is small (4.18); majority of them belong
Work under NREGS has emerged as primary occupation for 17 percent and as secondary occupation for two-third of the rural households.

Sample for the study Districts Blocks Panchayats Households :4 :8 : 31 : 620

to productive age group (19.59 %); five percent of the total population are disabled; 30 per cent belong to SC/ST households. A high rate of literacy could be found (92 %). The primary

occupation of the households is agriculture labour followed by NREGS. For a

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vast majority of the households (two- third) NREGS has emerged as a secondary occupation. One-third of the households have an income of less than Rs.24,000/-. Possession of assets and livestock is low. Major sources of borrowings are commercial banks, co-operatives and self help groups. Money lenders are getting marginalized. Borrowings were resorted to mainly for productive and consumption purposes. Sample households mainly belong to poor and moderate households, which indicate that the scheme has reached the right type of households. Start-up activities designed and carried out under the scheme have generated a very high level of awareness about the scheme among the households. Inspite of initial hiccups in registration due to certain mis-conception about the scheme, it has reached the deserving households due to special efforts initiated by the functionaries of the scheme. A vast majority of the registered households were issued job cards free of cost within 15 days. There were instances of delay in issuing job cards due to nonavailability of staff and delayed production of required documents by the beneficiaries. seekers. Works are identified and prioritized by the Gram Sabha meeting actively facilitated by the functionaries of the panchayats and Kudumbasree. There have been problems in identifying the works as per the provisions of the Act as the geography of each district distinctly
There is a marked improvement in the participation of the people in Gram Sabha meeting and the people demand such schemes and projects that enhance their well-being.
- A functionary of the panchayat.

Job cards are computerized and are in possession of job

differs and as the availability of common natural resources is less in many panchayats. These problems are, to a certain extent, solved through a process of convergence with other departments like irrigation, public work, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, etc. All the households registered under the scheme did not participate. 50 to 60 per cent of the households participated. Dated receipts were given to the participants who applied for the job. Around 72 per cent of the job seekers were offered job within 15 days. Wayanad leads with an average time-lag of 12 days. A few respondents were found to have received unemployment allowance. xii

Works are executed in a methodical and systematic manner. Every panchayat process. follows a definite The average number of
Average no. of days employed District 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha All 13 24 9 36 5 50 22 53 29 60 13 39

days employed has recorded a steady up-ward trend. The average number of days employed is high among the SC/ST households

indicating their active participation in the scheme. Yet another sign of active participation is the percentage of households
We remained idle without work before NREGS. We are now assured work for 100 days with an assured income of Rs.12,500/- per annum.
- NREGS women workers

employed for 100 days. It has increased from two per cent to 14 per cent. Wayanad leads with 30 per cent of the households employed for 100 days. Majority of the respondents are found to have participated in works like road connectivity

(56.4%), flood control and protection (35.5%), cleaning of irrigation canals and channels (26.6%), renovation of traditional water bodies (22.6%) and water conservation and harvesting (19.4%). districts. The worksites are within the radius of 5 km. from the place of residence of households. 95 per cent of the workers are able to reach the work site by walk. The time schedule adopted (8 am to 5 pm) was reported as not Basic facilities are made available at the work site; however, majority of the workers felt that they were inadequate. They demand more facilities. The workers have come across certain problems at the worksite which includes: heavy tools, inability to work continuously in water-logged areas, inability to adhere to the time schedule, lack to toilet facility, etc. Muster rolls are maintained at the work site by the mates, who are mainly women and are drawn from Kudumbasree. They are well trained in the tasks expected of them. 98.4 per cent of the respondents are aware of the minimum wages prescribed. Wages under the scheme are distributed xiii conducive to women in general and workers in Alapuzha district in particular.
Everyone now is willing to lend me as my debt servicing capacity has increased due to income through NREGS.
- NREGS worker

Inter-district variations could be

observed, which is due to variations in geographical condition among the

through banks and post offices. No incident of payment of wages by cash was reported. Around two-third of the respondents received the wage within 15 days and rest had to wait due to delay in measurement of work, delay in providing muster roll and inadequate staff. Wages for men under NREGA was much lower compared to locally prevailing wage rates. In Alapuzha district the local wage rate is double the wage rate under NREGA. However, NREGA wage rate for women is high compared to locally prevalent wage rates. The net difference is Rs.14/-.
Going with an empty stomach in order to provide food to my children is a thing of the past. All the members of the family are now assured of food.
- NREGS woman worker

The scheme has discernable impacts on income, expenditure pattern, savings, migration, status of
Effects of NREGA Improved income Shift in pattern expenditure

women, social

relationship, livestock population and household assets. The benefits of the scheme as perceived by the respondents to the rural households are guaranteed employment, improved income and better education to children.
for

Improved savings Decline in migration Better social relationship Better education children

Benefits to the

community (population) include better network of roads, regeneration of water bodies, improved irrigation facilities and so on.

The social audit system has been grounded and adopted in all the panchayats. Social audit reports are submitted in Gram panchayat and sent to authorities concerned for appropriate action. settled then and there. Convergence of scheme with various departments such as, irrigation, agriculture, public works, fisheries and forestry could be observed, which help in effective identification and execution of various types of works. The performance of the scheme has been rated as very good, in crucial areas like, process of registration, issue of job cards, selection of worksite, supervision at the worksite, support of government officials and participation of people. Whereas, certain variables such as, execution of work, quality of the work executed, facilities at the worksite, mode of distribution of wages and transparency have been rated as good which means that there is need and scope for further improvement in such areas. xiv Complaints received are

The overall functioning of the scheme as rated by the respondents and as reiterated in the focus group discussion is good. The credit for the performance goes to Gram Sabha, the Panchayats, Kudumbasree and the Government functionaries at different levels who played very critical role in grounding and implementing the scheme. The suggestions to take the scheme to greater heights and make it sustainable as recommended by stakeholders at different levels include; i)100 days of employment per adult member per household instead of per household; ii) temporary suspension of NREGS works during the peak agricultural season; iii) permission to take up land improvement in private lands with the financial participation of land owners; iv) upward revision of wages taking into account the local situation; iv) flexibility in schedule of working hours; vi) region based specific plans instead of adapting blue-print type of guideline; vii) permission to reintervene based on nature of work; viii) permission to take up work involving material cost; ix) delegation of responsibilities and power from the block to the panchayat; x) appointment of skilled personnel wherever required and xi) providing better infrastructure like improved tools, computers with BSNL internet connectivity, vehicles and human resources at panchayat level. *****

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Chapter - 1
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme An Overview

Introduction National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), the first ever programme giving legal guarantee to a minimum of 100 days of work in a financial year, is a Public Works Programme (PWP). PWPs are defined as all activities which entail payment of wage (in cash or in kind) by the state, or by an agent acting on behalf of the state in return for a provision of labour, in order to: i) enhance employment; and ii) produce an asset (either physical or social) with the overall objective of promoting social protection for participants (Anna Macord 2009). There are, by and large four distinct, although sometimes overlapping types of PWPs. They are: i) PWPs offering a single short-term episode of employment which provide a risk coping or protective forms of social protection; ii) large scale government employment programme which are response to chronic or sustained levels of elevated employment. Under this type, State acts as an employer of the last resort aiming to raise aggregate employment on a sustained basis; iii) programme promoting the labour intensification of government infrastructure spending with primary objective of constructing assets while increasing aggregate labour usage; and iv) programmes which enhances employability by promoting work place experience and skills formation among the unemployed. NREGS belongs to the second type of PWP. NREGA and its Features India had the experience of operating many types of PWPs. NREGS has evolved into its present shape by building on the past experiences in designing and executing schemes providing employment. It is an improvement over its predecessors. The employment envisaged under the scheme is defined as a constitutional right so that the state offers a

guaranteed number of days of employment each year to one unemployed work-seeker from any rural household seeking employment. It puts the people with rights to seek employment in a legal framework and approaches development through the socio and economic empowerment of the poor and the marginalized. Described as flagship programme, first ever scheme that guarantee wage employment at an unprecedented scale, mother of all local development programme, demand-driven and people-centered programme, boon to the rural poor, lifeline to the marginalized and landless, the largest employment programme in human history, the scheme was introduced through an Act known as National Rural Employment Guarantee Act notified on Sep. 7, 2005. The Act came into force on Feb. 2006. The salient features of Act are: i) application by the adult members of the rural households to the local panchayat seeking registration; ii) issue of job cards by the panchayat within 15 days from the date of application; iii) written application by the job card holders to the panchayat seeking employment; iv) issue of dated receipt of written application for employment; v) provision of employment within 15 days of application for work failing which payment of unemployment allowance; vi) provision of work within a radius of 5 km from the village (payment of extra wages of 10 per cent, if the work provided is beyond 5 km); vii) payment of wages as per the minimum wages act; viii) provision of equal wages for men and women; ix) disbursement of wages on a weekly basis; x) women should constitute one-third of the workers; xi) provision of facilities at the work site; xii) shelf of project as recommended by the Grama panchayat and approved by zilla parishad; xiii) permissible works are predominantly soil and water conservation, afforestation and land development; xiv) wage material cost ratio should be 60 : 40 (no room for machine and contractors); xv) social audit has to be undertaken by the Grama Sabha; xvi) institution of grievances redressal mechanism for ensuring responsive implementation process; and xvii) all accounts are subject to public scrutiny resulting in accountability and transparency of the scheme.

Objectives of NREGS The primary objective of the Act is augmenting wage employment. More specifically, the Act aims at: i) providing a right based 100 days employment in a year to strengthen the subsistence livelihood support, enhancing the rural households purchasing power and capacity to alleviate hunger; and ii) directing the colossus amount of wages towards creating productive and durable assets of irrigation, drought proofing, land and water conservation, horticulture and connectivity to general prosperous livelihood support system. The ultimate objective was to benefit the entire community by providing employment; raising agricultural productivity and increasing natural resource base, particularly water. The process envisaged to attain the objectives would result in strengthening the grassroots processes of democracy and infusing transparency and accountability in governance. Progress of NREGS The scheme has been implemented in a phased manner. It was

introduced in 200 most backward districts of the country in Phase I (February 2006). It was implemented in 130 more districts in Phase II during 2007-08. The scheme was further extended to the remaining 285 rural districts of India from April 1, 2008 in phase III in order to bring the whole nation under its safety net. The programme was first launched on 2nd Feb. 2006 from Anantapuri District of Andhra Pradesh. The budget outlay on the scheme has steadily gone up over a period of three years. Started with a budget outlay of Rs.11,300 crores in 2006-07, the scheme has budget outlay of Rs. 30,000 crores in 2008-09 indicating a threefold increase over a period of three years, mainly due to phased extension of the programme to different districts. Employment opportunities and wage rate have significantly gone up since the implementation of the scheme. The employment provided to the rural households has recorded more than twofold increase from 2.10 crore households in 2006-07 to 4.51 crore households in 2008-09. The person days of employment witnessed a sharp increase from 90.5 crore person days in 2006-07 to 216.32 person days in 2008-09. The
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average wage paid under NREGA has increased from Rs.65 in 2006-07 to Rs.84 in 2008-09; minimum wages for agricultural labourers have increased after the implementation of the scheme. For instance, the minimum wages in Maharastra has increased from Rs.47 to Rs.72; in Uttar Pradesh from Rs.58 to Rs.100; in Bihar from Rs.68 to Rs.81; in West Bengal from Rs.64 to Rs.75; in Madhya Pradesh from Rs.58 to Rs.85 and in Chattisgarh from Rs.58 to Rs.72. Further, a major chunk of the expenditure has gone in the form of wages. The act has mandated that wage material ratio should be 60:40. But then, the percentage of wages to the total expenditure has been hovering around twothird of the total expenditure indicating much better flow of funds in the form of wages to the target beneficiaries than mandated (See Table 1.1). The works taken up under the scheme are mostly related to water harvesting and conservation, flood control and protection, micro irrigation works, provision of irrigation facilities on the land owned by SC / ST households, renovation of traditional water bodies, land development, drought proofing and rural connectivity. Total number of works taken up has increased from 8.35 lakhs in 2006-07 to 27.75 lakhs in 2008-09. Around 50 per cent of the works are related to water conservation; 20 percent of the works are related to provision of irrigation facility to individual beneficiaries; and around 15 per cent to land development indicating that a vast chunk of the funds has been spent on soil and water conservation leading to improved livelihood security to rural households. The Act has focused on SC/ST households. Around 55 per cent of total households are SC/ST households indicating the massive participation of SC/ST households in the scheme. The Act mandates that a minimum of onethird of the beneficiaries should be women. The national average shows that women participation was 41 per cent in 2006-07; it registered steady increase recording 43 percent in 2007-08; 47.88 percent in 2008-09 and 51.15 percent in 2009-10 (upto October 2009). The women participation thus has surpassed the minimum prescribed levels.

Table 1.1 NREGA - National Overview


2006-07 200 Districts 2.10Crore 2007-08 330 Districts 3.39 Crore 2008-09 615 Districts 4.49 Crore 2009-10 (UptoAug.,09) 200 Districts 3.04 Crore

Employment provided to households PERSONDAYS (in Crore) Total SCs STs Women Others Average persondays per household FINANCIAL DETAIL Budget Outlay (in Rs. Core) Central Release (in Rs. Crore) Total available fund [including OB]: (in Rs. Crore) Expenditure (in Rs. Crore) Average wage per day WORKS DETAIL Total works taken up (in Lakhs) Works completed (in Lakhs) Water conservation Provision of irrigation facility to land owned by SC/ST/BPL and IAY beneficiaries Rural Connectivity Land Development Any other activity Source: www.nrega.nic.in

90.5 22.95 [25%] 32.98 [36%] 36.79 [41%] 34.56 [38%] 43 days

143.59 39.36 [27%] 42.07 [29%] 61.15 [43%] 62.16 [43%] 42 days

216.01 63.39 [29%] 54.78 [25%] 103.41 [48%] 97.84 [45%] 48 days

118.54 35.50 [30%] 26.21 [22%] 60.62 [51%] 56.73 [48%] 39 days

11300 8640.85 12073.55

12000 12610.39 19305.81

30000 29939.60 37483.94

39100 15219.14 26831.21

8823.35 Rs.65 8.35 3.87 4.51 [54%] 0.81 [10%]

15856.89 Rs.75 17.88 8.22 8.73 [49%] 2.63 [15%]

27137.88 Rs.84 27.2 12.09 12.50 [46%] 5.56 [20%]

14398.64 Rs.88 23.37 5.28 11.60 [49%] 4.34 [19%]

1.80 [21%] 0.89 [11%] 0.34 [4%]

3.08 [17%] 2.88 [16%] 0.56 [3%]

4.91 [18%] 3.91 [15%] 0.25 [1%]

3.98 [17%] 3.23 [14%] 0.22 [1%]

Merits and Shortcomings of NREGA NREGA is the first tangible commitment to the poor that they can expect to earn a living wage without loss of dignity and demand this as a right (Lalith Mathur, 2007). NREGA has benefited the people especially the marginalized and the poor on several counts. Evidences from the field and the analysis of the macro data have brought to light the various merits of the scheme and its impact on the target beneficiaries. The scheme has certain drawbacks / shortcomings too. They are not related to the scheme as such but the way in which it is implemented or executed. We would discuss the
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benefits of the scheme to the target groups. The benefits listed here are based on the field reports / studies conducted across the country. Merits Minimum wages assured: A very significant benefit of NREGA is that it has ensured payment of minimum wages irrespective of the sex. The minimum wage of Rs.100 a day under NREGA had increased the wage level across the private sector benefiting both the families that could not avail NREGA work and families that had completed NREGA quota of 100 days work. It provided the poor with required support in the labour market by not letting them below a certain level. It has increased the bargaining power of the poor people in the labour market. The workers of NREGA, earlier, were mostly voiceless and they could not normally bargain for higher wages. Now, the NREGA wage has become a bench mark and NREGA workers bargain for wages and are no longer willing to work for cheaper wages. Attitudinal change: NREGA has brought a big shift in the attitude of the people. It has impacted on the social structure of the villages. We have never seen land owning upper caste groups working in the farms of SC/ST households. A paradigm shift could be observed with the advent of NREGA. The land owning class now comes and works in the farms of dalits. People are reported to have said that they will all work together as a group and not on a caste basis (P.Sainath 2008). It is a common sight in many of the states that petty shop owners, stone cutters, people of different caste groups and land owners of different types (marginal, small and big) participate and work together under NREGA. Assured Income: The scheme has improved the lives of the people and has brought stability and assured income to the families that were until recently desperately poor (Vidya Subramanian: 2009). A study conducted by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research covering a sample of 6000 households across 20 states in the country (300 samples per state) has revealed that the low earning level of a number of beneficiaries declined and the number of households reporting marginally higher income has increased
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(K.Balchand: 2009).

In certain places especially during the lean season

NREGA had been the only source of income (Sudha Narayan: 2008). Change in expenditure pattern: The scheme has its impact on the expenditure pattern of the families also. A shift in the expenditure pattern on food and non-food items with family spending more on both the counts could be found; more than half of the households have purchased livestock like sheep and goat (K.Balachand: 2009). Migration checked: An important problem in rural areas was distress migration especially when an area was struck by drought, famine, flood or other natural calamities. Field reports have clearly indicated that the people / beneficiaries no longer have to move places to places looking for work. The migration has fallen very sharply (Sudha Narayan: 2008). Panchayats strengthened: The entire scheme is being implemented by the panchayat and through the panchayat. Identification of work, implementation of work, disbursement of wages and social auditing have become the responsibility of Grama panchayat. participatory democracy. Women empowered: Participation of women has increased significantly. In several states participation of women has surpassed mens participation. Women perceived that NREGA is giving them a sense of independence and security. Wages earned under NREGA has helped women in several ways. It helped them to pay the debt and retrieve the pawned gold; helped them in taking care of childrens education; enabled them to meet the day-to-day household expenses and facilitated them to save money (Sudha Narayan 2008). Entitlements internalized: NREGS facilitates disclosure by means of regular social audit. Social audit mandated to be done by the Grama Sabha is intended to identify and plug pilferages and corruption which in turn helps building awareness and confidence in beneficiaries who learn over the time, This has provided a vast scope for strengthening Gram sabhas and the panchayats which in turn helps building

to become vigilant and assertive. As a result, the village people had fully internalized their rights and entitlements (Vidhya Subramanian, 2009). Social capital created: NREGS has facilitated people coming together. It is quite common to see a large number of men and women irrespective of the caste working together in creating productive assets. This provides a great deal of opportunities for frequent interaction resulting in mutual trust and social capital. Nurkse, the economist said that, capital starved over populated countries could build social capital in a big way by employing the surplus labour on a variety of projects. The massive effort in building social capital through NREGA could trigger higher productivity of land and labour, diversification of agriculture and foster industrial growth. It would mitigate the sufferings inflicted by chronic drought and flash flood (P.S Appu: 2009). Corruption checked: The act has a wide range of transparency safeguards to prevent corruption. For instance, musterrolls are to be kept at the worksite, displayed at the panchayat office and read out in public at the time of wage payments. Employment and wage details have to be recorded in the job cards to enable the workers to check and verify the records for themselves. Contractors are totally banned. There is evidence of substantial progress towards a transparent accountable system. Contractors have virtually disappeared from NREGA. Mass fudging of muster rolls, in certain States, is a thing of the past (Rajasthan for example). Certain States like Andra Pradesh have been making rapid strides in this direction through strict record keeping, institution of social audit and payment of wages through post offices. A survey conducted in Orissa revealed that 95 per cent of the wages paid according to the muster roll had actually related the labourers concerned. This is a major achievement especially in contrast with the situations two years ago, where a similar study in the same area had uncovered evidences of massive fraud in National Food for Works Programme (Jean Dreze 2007). Lacunae and shortcomings The scheme suffers from certain lacunae and problems. The problems are inter-related. The problems are not with the scheme but with the way in
8

which it is implemented. Some important problems as reported from the fields are presented below. Delay in payment of wages: There has been a prolonged delay in payment of wages. As per the provisions of the Act, workers must be paid within 15 days. However, wages could not be paid within the stipulated period of time. The main reason attributed for the delay is the inability of the banks and post offices to handle mass payment of NREGS wages. There are other reasons too. They are delay in issuing payment order to the banks and post offices by the panchayat, delay in work measurement, bottlenecks in flow of funds and irresponsible record keeping (Jean Dreze 2007). the margin of subsistence. Overemphasis on employment: Two major objectives of the programme are: i) provision of 100 days of unskilled employment in a financial year; and ii) creation of productive and durable assets that would enhance agricultural productivity. However, in actual operationalization of the scheme, the first objective assumes by far the most dominant concern of the law, the second objective viz, creation of sustainable productive assets, stands in the shadow. Even during the social audit the prime attention goes to matters related to registration, issue of job cards, allocation of work, timely wage payment and worksite facilities rather than the utilization of works completed, increase in production, multiplier effects of income generation, issue of ownership, operationalization and maintenance of assets created on the public land. An alarming fact is that during the last three and half years (till August 2009) 19.49 lakh works have been taken up, out of which, only 2.69 lakh (13.69 per cent) works are reported to have been completed (Prasad Y.B,:2009). Shortage of human resources: Yet another critical lacuna in the implementation of NREGS has been the shortage of dedicated human resources. Currently, in many of the states, implementation of NREGS has been assigned to the already overloaded bureaucratic structure. NREGS is an additional charge. As a result, the government officials who are incharge of the programme could not totally devote themselves to NREGS.
9

Whatever might be the

reasons, even small delays cause enormous hardships to workers who live on

This leads to delays and poor quality output.

Attempts to piggyback a

radically new people-centered programme on to a moribund bureaucratic structure of implementation simply do not work (Pramathesh Ambasta: 2009). Delay in issue of job cards: An important factor of the NREGS is that job needs to be given to a worker within 15 days of demand for work. The study by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research indicated that 80 per cent of the households are yet to get job within 15 days of their demand for work and worse still they were not given unemployment allowance either. Failure to convene the meeting of Grama Sabha: Grama Sabha has to play a very crucial role in implementing NREGS, especially in three important stages in the process of NREGS viz., i) preparation of shelf of projects; ii) appraisal of shelf of projects; and iii) conducting of social audit. These activities are very essential for the effective implementation of NREGS, which necessarily warrant convening the meeting of the Grama Sabha. the district in certain states (Mahim Pratap Singh: 2009). Withholding job cards: Possession of job card provides a legal entitlement and guarantee to seek job from the Panchayat. The job card should be with the households. All details such as date of application for work, employment demand, employment provided, description of work, muster roll ID in which attendance recorded and wages paid, unemployment allowance paid (if any), etc. are recorded in the job card. Transparency warrants that job cards should be with the beneficiaries. Evidence from the field shows that the presidents of the village panchayats withhold the job cards with them. This is likely to result in non-payment of statutory minimum wages, fudging of muster rolls leading to large scale corruption in the scheme. This may not be true for all the panchayats in all the districts. But such a practice even by the presidents of a few panchayats in few states would set a very bad precedent tarnishing the very image of the noble scheme. Failure to hit the 100 guaranteed days: The Act has guaranteed 100 days of work per year to all the rural households registered under the scheme.
10

There are

instances where Grama Sabha meeting were not convened in certain areas of

However, majority of the households work only for an average of 50 days. For instance, the average person days employed per household was less than 50 in 24 out of 34 states (2008-09). This clearly shows that a lot need to be done to ensure 100 days of work to all the rural households in all the states. Consistent concurrent monitoring lacking: Another missing link in the implementation chain is concurrent monitoring. Information technology has an indispensable role in providing the necessary information at the right time in a transparent way. NREGA has developed a good management information system. But then, it fails to alert on certain vital issues. For instance, it is not able to raise an alert on delays in wage payments because data are normally updated post-facto, thus undermining the very basis of monitoring (Pramathesh Ambasta: 2009). Inter-state variations: There are inter-state variations in executing the scheme. Certain states have performed well in terms of certain key indicators, such as women participation, average days of employment per person per annum, conduct of social audit; etc. For example, Rajasthan and Tripura have performed better among all major states in terms of employment generation per rural household. In both the states employment generation under NREGA is quite close to upper limit of 100 days per rural household, in the year 2006-07. This is an unprecedented achievement in the history of social security in India (Jean Dreze and Christian Oldiges, 2009). Employment generation per household for the year 2007-08 indicates that 10 states could generate more than 50 days of employment against the target of 100 days; 7 states could generate an average 40-50 employment days per household. Remaining 17 states (50 per cent) could generate only less than 40 days on an average. The figure for the year 2009-10 shows a promising trend as 12 out of 34 states have generated more than 40 days within a period of 7 months (See Table 1.2).

11

Table 1.2: Person days employed per household


Person days employed States (2008-09) No. of States States (2009-10) th Till 30 Oct. 2009 Kerala, Maharashtra, Andaman & Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagerhaveli, Goa, Daman & Diu Assam, Gujarat, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttarkhand, Lakshwadeep, Puducherry, Meghalaya, Bihar Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Sikkim, Orissa Andra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Chattisgarh No. of States

<20

Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar; Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Goa

20-30

Gujarat, Punjab, West Bengal, Dara & Nagerhaveli, Bihar, Kerala

30-40

Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, TamilNadu, Uttarkhand, Orissa, Meghalaya,

40-50

Andra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand

>50

Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Lakshwadeep Total States

10

Rajasthan, TamilNadu, Nagaland

34

34

Source: Data Compiled from www.nrega.nic.in

Regarding participation of women, the highest was reported in Tamil Nadu with 82 per cent followed by Kerala with 73 percent in 2007-08. Women participation was more than 61 per cent in 5 states in 2008-09 and 2009-10. It ranged between 30 and 60 per cent in 19 states during 2008-09 and in 21 states during 2009-10. In the remaining states, it was less than mandated 30 per cent (See Table 1.3). It can be concluded that, women participation was far better than the minimum prescribed norms under the Act in majority of the states.

12

Table 1.3: Share of women in NREGS employment


Percentage of women participation States (2008-09) Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Lakshwadeep, Daman & Diu, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Tripura, Chattisgarh, Uttarkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshwadeep Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Dadra & Nagerhaveli Total Source: Data Compiled from www.nrega.nic.in No. of States States (2009-10) th Upto 30 Oct. 2010 Arunachal Pradesh, Assamm, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Lakshwadeep, Daman & Diu. Goa, West Bengal, Chandigarh Andra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Trpura, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttrakhand, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshwadeep, Bihar Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Dadra & Nagerhaveli, Meghalaya Total No. of States

<30

10

30-60

19

19

>60

34

34

Table 1.4: Share of Wages in Total Expenditure


Percentage States (2008-09) Sikkim, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshwadeep, Daman & Diu, Goa. All Other States Total Source: Data Compiled from www.nrega.nic.in No. of States States (2009-10) th Upto 30 Oct. 2010 Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshwadeep, Daman & Diu, Goa. All Other States Total No. of States

<60

>60

27 34

26 34

The share of wages in total expenditure was more than 60 per cent in majority of states in 2008-09 and 2009-10. However, it was less than 60 per cent in some of the states.

13

It is, thus, clear that the scheme is not performing well in all states. Perhaps it may be too early to expect better performance in all the states. The reasons are obvious. First, the scheme has been implemented in three different phases across the states in the country. Second, states do differ in terms of development. There are rich states and poorer states. The existing institutional arrangements especially in poor states like Bihar, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Madya Pradesh are not good enough to implement the NREGA in an effective manner (Pinaki Chakrabarthy: 2007). Third, the preparation needed for this revolutionary Act was not in place before it was launched (Mihir Shah: 2009). Fourth, failure on the part of the state and the functionaries to generate required awareness about the scheme. Fifth, entrusting the works related to NREGA to the already overburdened staff at the block and at the district levels. Sixth, panchayats are the prime movers of the scheme; but then, they do not have the necessary capacity to manage the scheme.

NREGS Vis--vis Earlier Wage Employment Programmes The nation has implemented a series of wage employment

programmes for the poor. The earlier programmes cast the state in the role of a benefactor offering hand-outs to the poor. But NREGA has built notions of citizenship and entitlements. NREGA represents a paradigm shift from the earlier, wage employment programmes in several aspects (Vijayanand S.M. and V.N.Jithendran: 2009). The differences are given in Box 1.1.

14

Box 1.1. NREGS vis-a-vis. earlier employment Programmes


NREGS Concept o Legal guarantee of right to employment o Demand-driven o Focus on productive sector for sustainable development through natural resource management o Gender sensitive o Vision based participatory perspective planning o Organic central role for PRIs Planning o Long preparatory phase o Can be integrated with varied development works o Multi-dimensional action plans covering, time, space, manpower and resources o Result-based and outcome oriented Organization o Panchayat in central placedevelopment from within o People estimates o Minimum wages o Equal wages o Payment through bank or post offices o Work without whip - new dynamics of mutual help and group discipline. Administration o Integrated and consistent data base a) Unique ID of workers b) Unique ID of work c) ID of muster rolls d) Payment vouchers e) Bank accounts of individuals o Close monitoring o Clear accounting system a) proactive disclosures b) vigilance & monitoring committee c) social audits Source: Vijanand S.M and V.N.Jithendra (2009) Earlier Programmes Incidental to scheme; no legal guarantee Supply-driven Focus on public works; predominantly roads Male / Machine dominated Short-term priority listing Marginal agency role for PRIs

o o o o o o

o o o o

Hurried quick-fix plans Limited to schematic works Two dimensional action plan covering resources and works. Expenditure oriented.

o o o o o o

Middlemen/ contractors in central place outsourcing development Engineers estimate Market wages Differential wages Direct cash payments Ruthless suppression by middlemen contractors

o o o

No such data base Routine monitoring Ritualized and routine

15

Conclusion NREGA is a path-breaking legislation with the main objective of providing legal guarantee to all the rural households to have secured access to employment opportunities. Employment now, is a legal entitlement to rural households. Started in the year 2006, the scheme has been in operation in all the states. The outcome of the scheme is quite encouraging as it has started yielding dividends in terms of improved wages, improved income, and marginal improvement in living standards and so on. The scheme has come across certain hurdles or shortcomings which include delayed payment of wages, instances of fudging of muster rolls, corruption, more emphasis on employment rather than long-term interest such as ownership and maintenance of assets, shortage of dedicated human resources at the Panchayat level, failure to provide employment within 15 days of demand for work, non-convening of Gram Sabha meetings, uneven performance within the state and across the states and so on. Despite all these shortcomings, the scheme, which is described unprecedented in the history of employment programme throughout the world, has been slowly and steadily picking up. Steps are being taken to position the safeguard mechanism related to transparency and accountability at all levels. The success of the scheme largely depends on the state, local bodies, civil society organizations and ofcourse the proactive participation of the beneficiaries of the scheme. What we have presented so far is the macro scenario of the NREGS over a period of three years based on the review of earlier studies and the review of secondary sources of data and information. We now present performance of the scheme in a selected state (Kerala) based on an in-depth study using a mix of methods such as survey, focus group discussion, case study and observation. The presentation of macro scenarios, we thought, would provide a backdrop to this study. The subsequent chapters will deal with the methodology, the profile of the state and the districts under study and the performance of NREGS in Selected districts of the State. *****

16

Chapter - 2
Design of the Study

Introduction National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is the largest ever public programme conceived and grounded in the human history. It is the most powerful initiative ever undertaken for the transformation of rural livelihoods. It goes beyond poverty alleviation and recognizes employment as a legal right. It creates the right to work. It is demand-driven. It has the potential to provide a big push in Indian regions of distress. The immediate objective of the Act is to ensure the livelihood security of households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed employment in a financial year to every household, whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work (The Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India; 2008). The choices of work suggested in the Act addresses causes of chronic poverty like drought, deforestation and soil erosion, so that the process of employment generation is maintained on a sustainable basis. Thus, the act has both short term and long term objectives. Implemented in three phases, the Act is operational in 625 rural districts spread across 34 states in the country. The expected outcomes from the scheme are many. First, it is not just a scheme to merely provide relief in times of distress. It is a scheme to provide long-term drought and flood-proofing to Indian agriculture. Second, effective implementation of the scheme would take the economy on to a more sustainable growth path and as a result the economy would be less vulnerable to the vicissitudes of nature. Third, the growth fuelled by the scheme would help reduce poverty because it is an established fact that the impact of growth on poverty is higher in areas where social infrastructure is more developed. Fourth, it is strongly believed that the expenditure incurred on the employment guarantee would be non-inflationary for it is likely to cause

17

a spurt in agricultural growth which would provide a strong foundation upon which a wide spectrum of sustainable livelihoods could be developed. Fifth, successive rounds of investments in the programme would result in multiplier of secondary employment opportunities. All these outcomes can be a reality only when all the salient features of NREG Act, and the process suggested are meticulously planned and implemented. The key factor for the success of the programme lies in the active participation of the rural households coupled with effective involvement of the functionaries at the grassroots level (panchayat) who are in-charge of implementing the programme. Transparency - a critical input in designing and executing the activities at the different levels of structures created to plan, execute, monitor and evaluate the programme - plays an indispensable role in making the programme sustainable. The scheme was launched in the beginning of 2006. Almost four years have elapsed since the inception of the scheme. How does the scheme perform? Do the provisions of NREGA and the guidelines evolved under the schemes provide a wholesome process for effective implementation of the scheme? Has the process been followed in letter and spirit?. What are the hurdles at different phases of the process? The scheme envisages visible outputs and outcomes. What are the outputs and outcomes of the scheme? To what extent has the scheme been able to bring changes in the living conditions of the people? What are the problems experienced by the various stakeholders especially at the grassroots level? These are all some of the major issues which require a study and an indepth analysis. Such a study would throw enough light on the functioning of the scheme, the actual outcome against the expected outcome, the problems that crop up in implementing programme and so on. It is against this backdrop, the present study has been taken up in select districts of Kerala.

18

Objectives of the study The broad objective of the study is to analyse the functioning of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme encompassing all its essential aspects. More specifically, the study aims at: i). analyzing the extent to which the scheme has guaranteed employment households; ii). assessing the quality of the assets created and their likely impact on the agrarian economy; iii). ascertaining the impact of the scheme on the socio-economic conditions of the people; iv). assessing v). the limitations and constraints faced by the functionaries in implementing the scheme; identifying the problems faced by the participants (primary stakeholders of the scheme; and vi). identifying and document the best practices as (if any) adopted in implementation of the scheme. Scope and coverage The broad issues to be addressed would include: There is a mismatch between employment days guaranteed and the actual number of days employed. Why there is a gap? What are the problems in providing guaranteed employment days? The problems in identifying the works as per the provisions of Act and the guidelines issued. There is also a mismatch between the wage assured under the act and the wages actually paid. What are the reasons? What are the problems faced in providing wages assured? Do the functionaries of the panchayat have problems in implementing the scheme at the panchayat level? What is the nature and dimension of the problems? How could the problems be overcome?
19

and

livelihood

to

different

sections

of

rural

Certain panchayats within the district and certain blocks within a district are likely to perform better than others in implementing the scheme. What are the enabling or pushing factors that help them perform better? What are the retarding or pulling factors for poor performance?

The outcome and impact of the scheme to a larger extent depend on the quality and relevance of assets created. What do people think about quality and relevance of the assets created?

An important objective of the scheme is to help reduce poverty. Has the scheme succeeded in reducing poverty?

The credibility and success of the scheme depends on the degree of transparency exhibited in the project related activities. What is the mechanism adopted to ensure transparency in the project?

These are all some of the important central issues that would be addressed under the study. The findings and the inferences drawn thereon in the context of the issues raised would definitely help in finding out the problems, limitations and constraints in implementing the scheme and would help in finding solutions to overcome the problems. The target group for the study would include both primary and secondary stakeholders of the project viz., the men and women who participated in the scheme, the functionaries of the panchayat and the Block Development Office, the personnel working in the project and the project officer of DRDA. Methodology Methods The study has employed mix of methods to address the objectives laid down. Both primary and secondary data were collected. To begin with, a thorough review of the secondary data related to the NREGS at the district, block and panchayat levels was undertaken and documented.
20

A comprehensive household survey was done mainly to ascertain the outcome and impact of the project in the light of project interventions. A pretested interview schedule was administered to collect the data from the sample beneficiaries. Qualitative methods such as focus group discussion, case study and interview with key informants were used to supplement and complement the inferences drawn from the survey data. Research questions addressed The major research questions addressed under the study are: o What are the efforts made by the panchayat, Block Development Office and DRDA for registering the rural households under the scheme? o Have all the eligible rural households got registered under the scheme? o Have all the registered households sought for employment participated in the works under the scheme? If not what are the factors hindering participation of the households? o What is the average number of days employed in a year? Are there variations in terms of number of days employed with reference to caste and gender? o What are the facilities made available in the worksite? Are they adequate? If not, what facilities are required at the worksite? o Have all the panchayats identified the works to be undertaken as per the guidelines? How they estimated the quantum and value of work identified? Is there any mismatch between the demand for work and the availability of work? What are the steps taken by the panchayats to fill the gap between demand and availability? o What is the average wage earned by the household? Is there any variation in the wages earned across the households? If so what are the reasons? Are the wages distributed hovering around the
21

minimum wages prescribed? If no what are the reasons? What is the system followed in the distribution of wages? Have the households experienced any problems in getting wages? If yes what are the problems? o What are the views and opinion of the women employed under the scheme on the implementation of the scheme? What are the problems that they face in the worksite? o What is the quality of work? Have the works undertaken helped in developing creative assets? Have they helped in conserving soil, water and other natural resources? o What is the impact of the programme on the rural households with special reference to i) creation of livelihoods; ii) income iii) assets; iv) expenditure; v) savings; vi) liability; vii) migration; and viii) social capital? How do people spend the wages earned? What is the level and intensity of migration after the introduction of the scheme? o What is the mechanism evolved and adopted to ensure transparency and accountability under the scheme? What is the degree of transparency and accountability found in the scheme? o Are the people satisfied with the way in which the programme is implemented? If no what are the improvements suggested by the people? o What are the difficulties experienced by the functionaries at different levels to implement the scheme? What are the measures initiated to overcome such difficulties? Sample design Kerala State was the venue of the study. Multi stage sampling process was adopted to select the sample for the study. First Stage: Selection of District There are fourteen districts in Kerala. Four districts were selected for the study. The criteria adopted were: i) Geographical location. The entire State of Kerala divided into three regions viz., Eastern high land, Central
22

midland and Western coastal low land. We have chosen two districts from eastern highland, one from central midland and one from western coastal low land. ii) Period of implementation of the scheme. The scheme has been implemented in three phases viz., Phase I, Phase 2 and Phase 3. Two of the districts chosen fall under first phase, one under second phase and the fourth under third phase. iii) Performance of the district in the implementation of NREGS good performing, moderately performing and least performing districts. Regarding performance of four districts chosen, one come under best performing, the second one come under moderately performing and remaining two districts come under least performing. The districts selected based on these criteria are: i) Palakkad; ii) Wayanad; iii) Idukki; and iv) Alapuzha. Second Stage: Selection of Blocks Having chosen the districts, the next stage is to select the blocks. Two blocks from each district were chosen. The criteria followed were: i) concentration of agricultural labourers; ii) concentration of SC/ST households; and iii) performance of the block. Third Stage: Selection of Panchayat From each Block chosen, four panchayats were selected for the study except one Block where there were only three panchayats. The criteria followed were i) performance of the Panchayat ii) Concentration of agricultural labourers. and iii) concentration of SC/ST households and The total number of Panchayat selected for the study was 31. Fourth Stage: Selection of Beneficiaries Having selected panchayats, the next stage was to select the beneficiaries of the NREGS. We obtained the list of workers from panchayats. We chose 20 beneficiaries from each panchayat at random. The total sample beneficiaries for the study were 620 (See Table 2.1)

23

Table 2.1: Sample frame work District Block Panchayat Eruthenpathy Vadakarapathy Perumatty Kozhinjampara Puthur Agali Sholayur Pozhuthana Thoriyode Kottathara Vengapally Edavaka Thavinhal Thondarnad Mananthavady Adimali Pallivasal Bisonvalley Konnathady Vattavada Marayur Mankulam Kanthalloor Nedumudi Thakazhy Kainakari Edathua Neelamperur Muttar Kavalam Ramankary 31 Sample Beneficiaries 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 620

Chittur Palakkad Attappady

Kalpetta Wayanad Manathavady

Adimali Idukki Devikulam

Champakulam Alapuzha Velliyanad 4 Tools for data collection 8

As indicated, an interview schedule was administered to collect the data from the respondents. The schedule sought data on socio-economic profile of the respondents like, family details, housing condition, income and expenditure pattern, assets possessed like land owned, livestock and household durables, loans, migration, social participation of members, awareness about NREGA, registration, employment and wage under NREGA,

24

effects of NREGA, the impact of NREGA and the respondents perception about the functioning of NREGA and so on. We have conducted Focus Group Discussion in 31 panchayats for which we used a check list. The checklist canvassed qualitative data on startup activities, launching of the scheme in the Panchayat, registration and issue of job cards, identification of works, demand for employment, execution of work, payment of wages, impact of the scheme, staff and training, record maintenance, monitoring of the activities, social audit, grievances redressal mechanism, organization structure, mechanism evolved to ensure transparency, relevance of the scheme for the area, difficulties encountered and suggestions for the better implementation of the scheme. Framework of Analysis The data gathered through survey were edited and tabulated. Two-way tables were constructed for all the variables considered under the study to present a comparative analysis of the performance of NREGS in selected districts. District-wise data were compared against the aggregate data to present a critical analysis and review of the scheme. Qualitative data collected through the focus group discussion were compiled, edited and used throughout the study to supplement and complement the inferences drawn from the survey data. Case studies conducted have been edited and presented in appropriate places to support the inferences drawn from survey and focus group discussion. It should be noted here that the study has mostly relied on the primary data gathered through survey, FGD, direct observation and case study. However, the study has made use of secondary data drawn from website and officials records, registers wherever they were found necessary and relevant. *****

25

Chapter - 3
Profile of Kerala and the Districts chosen for the Study

Location Wedged between Arabian Sea in the west and the mountains of the Western Ghats in the east, Kerala state stretches north-south along a coast line of 580 kms with a varying width of 35 to 120 kms. The state with a landmass of 38,863 square kilo meters is one of the smallest states as it has just 1.18 per cent of the total landmass of the country. The nature of the terrain and its physical features divide an east west cross section of the state into three distinct regions viz., eastern highlands, central midlands and western costal lowlands. The high lands on the eastern edge, close to the Western Ghats, comprises of steep mountains and deep valleys, covered with dense forests. Almost all the 44 rivers of the state originate here. This area is dotted with tea and coffee plantations as well as spice gardens. The central midlands with rolling hills and shallow valleys are dotted with paddy fields in the lower areas and groves of rubber and other cash crops in the elevated slops. The western coastal lowlands comprises of relatively flat fertile plains, wide deltas, deep back waters, lakes and shifting mud-flats. The important feature of this area is the extensive paddy fields and groves of coconut trees crisscrossed by a backwater network of interconnected canals, lakes and rivers. The backwater networks of the costal lowlands, with its 1920 km length, cover more than 20 per cent of Indias waterways. Kerala receives a good annual rainfall benefiting out of the South West and North East monsoons. The annual rainfall of 3107 mm is much higher comparing the national average of 1197 mm. The state is bestowed with rich natural resources, and nick named as Gods own Country.

26

Administration Kerala with its state capital in Thriruvanathapram has 14 districts. For administrative purpose the state is divided into 63 Taluks and-development blocks. Total number of Gram Panchayats in the state is 999. Table 3.1 District profiles S.No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Districts Kasaragod Kannur Wayanad Kozhikode Malappuram Palakkad Thrissur Ernamkulam Idukki Kottayam Alapuzha Pathanamthitta Kollam Thiruvanthapuram Kerala Area (sq. km) 1992 2966 2131 2344 3550 4480 3032 2407 5019 2203 1414 2642 2491 2192 38863 No of Taluks 2 3 3 3 6 5 5 7 4 5 6 5 5 4 63 No. of Panchayaths 39 81 25 77 99 90 92 91 54 75 75 54 69 78 999

Source: Planing board of Kerala (2009) and district websites

Demographic features Kerala is one of the thickly populated states in the country. According to 2001 census, the state has a population of 31,838,559, which is 3.44 per cent of the countrys total population. The population density of 819 people per sq. km is one of the highest in India. The state also has the dubious distinction of female outnumbering male population. The sex ratio is 1058 female for every 1000 male. Keralas unique settlement pattern and wider infrastructure

development makes it difficult to see the differences between urban and rural areas and there is a strong rural-urban continuum in all along the state. Of the total population, urban dwellers figures to 82.7 lakh persons which is above one-fourth (26 percent) of the whole population and rural populace constitute 235.7 lakhs.

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Table. 3.2: District wise population profile (as per 2001 census) Sl.no District Person 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Population Male Female Population Density/ sq. km 604 813 369 1228 1022 584 981 1050 252 884 1489 467 1038 1476 819

Kasaragod 1203342 587763 615579 Kannur 2412365 1154144 1258221 Wayanad 786627 393397 393230 Kozhikode 2878498 1398674 1479824 Malappuram 3629580 1759479 1870101 Palakkad 2617072 1265794 1351278 Thrissur 2975440 1422047 1553393 Ernamkulam 3098378 1535881 1562497 Idukki 1128605 566405 562200 Kottayam 1952901 964433 988468 Alapuzha 2105349 1012572 1092777 Pathanamthitta 1231577 588035 643542 Kollam 2584118 1248616 1335502 Thiruvanthapuram 3234707 1571424 1663283 Kerala 31838559 15468664 16369895

Source: Planning Borad of Kerala (2009)

Hindus, who constitute 56.20 per cent of the total population, is the most prominent religious community in the state. This is followed by Muslims (24.7 per cent) and Christians (19 per cent). A small number of Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Jews and other religious communities are also present. Kerala is also home for indigenous tribal population who constitute 1.14 per cent of the total population. Major portion of them reside in the main stream with other people. The highest concentration of scheduled tribes is seen in Wayanad district (37.36 per cent) followed by Idukki (14 per cent) and Palakkad (10.89 per cent) and these three districts together account for over 60 per cent of ST population of the state. The coastal district of Alapuzha has the lowest percentage of tribal population. The highest distribution of people belonging to scheduled castes is in Palakkad district (13.85 per cent) followed by Thiruvananthapuram (11.87 per cent), Thrissur (11.34 per cent) and Kollam (10.34 per cent). Nearly half of SC population of the state is distributed in these four districts.

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The proportion of child population (0-14 yrs) to the total population is just 26 percent in Kerala, which is the lowest among the major states of India. The proportion of people in the working age group (15-59) is 63.4 percent in Kerala as against 55.6 per cent in India. Kerala seems to be aging fast with people who have above 60 years forming 10.5 per cent of the total population, which is the highest among the major states of India. The aged population of the state is 33.36 lakhs. Figure 3.1 Age-wise Distribution of Population in Kerala
33.35 (10%) 82.96 ( 26%)

0-14 years 15-59 years 60+ years

201.82, (64%)

Source: Census of India. 2001

Literacy and health status The state has progressed well in advance among the Indian states, in terms of socio-demographic status of its population. Keralas achievement in literacy attainment (90.9 per cent as per 2001 census) especially female literacy (87.86 per cent) and 100 per cent enrolment of children in school, irrespective of gender, has contributed much to the socio-economic progress of the state. Besides, the state has a positive sex ratio, that favours female population. Kerala also has the lowest Infant Mortality Rate(IMR)(13 per 1000 live births), lowest MMR (110 per l lakh live birth) in the country. Life expectancy rate is highest in the country for both male (71.3 years) and female (76.3 years).

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Economy While the social and demographic state of Kerala showing a rosy picture, the weak state economy contradicts with it. The state is one of the highest revenue deficit states in India, which is estimated to be 56 per cent of the State GDP, as per the statistics published by the Dept. of Economic and Statistics. The State GDP at factor cost at constant price is Rs.1,62,415 crore in 2007-08) with a weak industrial development and ever declining trend of agriculture in the state, the tertiary sector, including retail trade, tourism, telecom, construction etc. contribute to the bulk of the state economic output. The sectoral share of tertiary sector to the State GDP at constant prices (2007-08) constitutes 57 per cent at current prices. The contribution from agriculture (primary sector) is decreasing and constitutes just 17 per cent (at constant prices). The secondary sector remains almost stagnant at about 26 per cent for the past years. Figure 3.2. Sectoral contribution to state economy

17%

Primary Secondary 57% 26% Tertiary

Within the state, the districts such as Ernakulam, Trivananthapuram, Thrissur and Palakkad have better trade and industrial background and therefore have better State GDP status, while the districts such as Wayanad, Idukki, Kasargode and Pathnamthitta which are mainly agriculture based, have low GDP. The agriculture sector of the state is dominated by cultivation of cash crops such as coconut, rubber, tea, coffee, cashew nut and spices.

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Further, the 580 km long costal front helps to gain economic advantage of rich marine products. Another key feature of Keralas economy is its heavy dependency on remittance. In a state with 31.8 million people, 2.19 million people are emigrants in other countries, especially Middle East Asian nations. Foreign remittance to Kerala is showing an increased trend even during recession period, and in the last 5 years it has increased 135 per cent to touch a whooping Rs.43,300 crore, making it as the major contributor to the state economy (25 per cent of the total economic output). With a slow industrial growth and reduced opportunities in the primary sectors, migration to other countries and the subsequent remittances to the state holds much importance. Further, the high growth in the tertiary sector in the state has a direct bearing on this remittance economy. Though the state economy is weak, the household level financial condition in the state is better. The per capita state income of Rs.41814 (at current cost during 2007-08) is much higher than that of the per capita national income of Rs.33299/-. The poverty ratio of the state is also low at 15 per cent ( as per the 2004-05 poverty estimation) state fall under BPL category. Employability and employment Kerala, being an agrarian economy, a good percentage of its population is confined to agriculture and other agro based industries. 32.3 per cent of the total population belongs to the working category (main and marginal workers) and 67.7 percent are non-workers. The distribution of the working population in the state is cultivators (7.2 per cent), agricultural labourers (16 per cent), household industries (3.5 per cent) and other workers (73.2 per cent). Though the state has progressed in literacy and education attainment, the work participation rate (WPR) in Kerala, shows a negative status comparing to the national average. More than half of the labour force of the
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against the countrys

poverty ratio of 27.50 per cent. An estimated 17,23,556 households in the

age group of 15-29 years is unemployed. Further, the WPR of women falls far short for men. As against 51.6 per cent for male and 22.7 per cent for female in 2001 at the all India level, the work participation rate in Kerala was 50.6 percent for male and 15.3 per cent for male. The educational specific WPR also shows a clear gender gap. The structural change in the employment scenario of the state has the impact on lower work participation especially the female participation. The last few decades witnessed the continuous decline of several labour intensive activities, such as rice cultivation, traditional cottage industries, etc. The corresponding growth has not happened in the industrial sectors in the state. Further, conversion of agriculture land for non agriculture use has been fast in the recent years, which has resulted in a sharp decline in women oriented agricultural works. Table 3.3: Education specific WPR per persons of age 15 years and above
Level of Education Not literate Lit. & upto Primary Middle Secondary Higher Secondary Diploma Certificate Graduate & above Rural Male 61.82 81.9 82 69.2 53.9 81.7 78.8 Kerala Rural Urban Female Male 33.3 63.9 38.1 32.6 26.2 14.7 46.6 45.9 75.7 81.3 64 47.9 81.6 79.7 Urban Female 30.4 28.7 20.1 17.4 13 40.4 42.9 Rural Male 89.2 89.5 80.2 73.2 70.9 82.1 85.1 All-India Rural Urban Female Male 55 83.1 44.9 37.1 30.5 25.2 52.3 34.5 85.5 76 67.3 60.8 79.8 79.5 Urban Female 30.4 23.4 16.1 12.3 12.9 48.6 29

Source: NSSO Report (2004-05)

Among those who are employed, there is sharp disparity in wage earning among the salaried people and the casual laborers. Also the ruralurban divide in the earning is visible in Kerala (See Table 3.4). Palakkad District Palakkad district with a total area of 4,480 km is one of the largest districts in Kerala. It is bounded on the east by the Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, on the north and northwest by Malappuram district and on the south by Thrissur district. Palakkad lies near the Palghat Pass, a, 32 to 42 km wide natural gap through the Western Ghats ranges, that run parallel to the west
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coast of India, and connects Kerala to the plains of the state of Tamil Nadu to the east. This district, situated almost in the centre of the State, has no coastal line. Based on the physical features, the district can be divided into two natural divisions - midland and highland. The midland region consists of valleys and plains. It leads up to the highland which consists of high mountain peaks, long spurs, extensive ravines, dense forests and tangled jungles. While Ottappalam taluk lies completely in the midland region, all other taluks in the district lie in the midland and highland regions. About 1,360 sq.km of land in the district is covered by forests. Table 3.4: Employment in Kerala - An overview
Particulars Average wage/salary earning (Rs.) per day received by regular wage /salaried employees of age 15-59 years Average wage/salary earning (Rs.) per day received by casual labourers of age 15-59 years Unemployment rate ( usual principal status) Percentage of workers Number of full-time workers Number of part-time workers Number of working owners Number of hired workers Source: NSSO Report Nos.522 and 525 GOI Rural Female Male Urban Female Male

116.93 75.37 220 51.2 362472 154376 327470 130363

151.61 137.28 72 48.8 432132 59633 233297 211582

150.89 93.56 330 47.6 110263 71842 102160 49426

229.74 142.51 41 52.4 180311 19977 85660 99266

The district is divided into five taluks, viz, Alathoor, Palakkad, Chittoor, Mannarkkad and Ottappalam. There are 90 Panchayats in the district comprising 144 villages. Total number of households in the district is 0.53 million; and total population is 2.6 million. The density of population is 584 per sq.km, which is lower than that of the state average. Sex ratio is 1,066 and literacy level is 84.35 per cent (Male 89.52%; Female 79.56%). The district is one of the main rice producing regions in Kerala and its economy is primarily agricultural. Rice cultivation is taken up in 1,15,910 hectares. The district also has fairly well developed industrial sector with 1,975 factories and 2,516 SSI units. Work Participation Rate (WPR) is only 36.11 per cent. The WPR of female (21.20 %) is much less than that of the male (51.99 %). 1.67 million people in the working age group are not engaged in any activity. Agriculture and household industries engage more than 46 per
33

cent of the workers. Per capita income is very low (Rs.18,031). Of the total households (5,30,216) in the district, 52.13 per cent families live below poverty line . Among the total number of BPL households in the district, 51,595 households belong to SC community, while 2812 households belong to Scheduled Tribes. Wayanad District The district with an area of 2,131 sq. km. is nicknamed as Green Paradise due to the presence of dense forests and foliage. It is bounded on the east by Nilgiris ranges of the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu and Mysore district of Karnataka, on the north by Coorg district of Karnataka, on the south by Malappuram district and on the west by Kozhikode and Kannur district. The district has a rich forest cover of 78,787 ha. Most of the reserve forests in the state are in this district. The district is divided into three taluks, namely, Sulthan Bathery, Vythiri and Mananthavady. There are 25 panchayats covering 48 villages. The total number of households in the district is 1,66,763 while the total population is 7,80,619. The density of population is 369 per sq.km which is far below the state average. The sex ratio is 995 female per 1000 male. The literacy rate in the district is 85.52 per cent. The different religious groups of the state are more or less equally represented in the district. One-fourth of the population of Wayanad is constituted by Christians. They are the largest religious group in Wayanad. Hindus of different castes like Nairs, Thiyyas, etc. who settled here from different parts of Kerala, form the rest. Wayanad has the highest concentration of tribal in Kerala. They form 17.1 per cent of the total population of the district. The native Adivasis mainly consist of various sects like Paniyas, Kurumas, Adiyars, Kurichyas, Ooralis, Kattunaikkans, etc. This high altitude district is characterised by the cultivation of perennial plantation crops and spices. Wayanad is known for its sprawling spice plantations. Coffee is ubiquitous in Wayanad. It is cultivated in every panchayat, both in the form of large plantations and small holdings covering a
34

total area of 66,999 hectares. Tea is also cultivated in the district. Paddy is cultivated in 22,772 hectares of land. The rice fields of Wayanad are in the valleys formed by hillocks and in majority of paddy lands, only a single crop is harvested. The districts have no major industrial units. The work participation rate is 39.53 per cent. The WPR for male is 55.82 per cent, while that of female, it is 23.17 per cent. There are 4,72,006 people in the productive age group, who are not involved in any work. The cultivators constitute 16.77 per cent (51,751 persons ) of the working population, while 30.50 per cent of the workers (94,139 persons) are agriculture labourers. Per capita income of the district is Rs. 34,123. Of the total households of 1,66,763 in the districts, 64,794 families (49.87 %) fall under below poverty line category, of which 19,502 households are scheduled tribes. Idukki District Idukki has an area of 4,358 sq. km and is the second largest district of Kerala. The district borders Pathanamthitta to the south, Kottayam to the southeast, Ernakulam to the northeast and Thrissur to the north and Coimbature, Dindigul and Theni Districts in Tamilnadu to the east. Sprawling over an area of 5,061 sq. kms, the district is marked by undulating hills and valleys. The highest peak of Kerala, Anamudi, is in the district. The different levels of elevation promote the growth of diverse flora. The district has at present about 2,60,907 ha. forest area. The district has several protected areas including Periyar Tiger Reserve and Eravikulam National Park. Further, the highlands of the district are dotted with tea and coffee plantations and spice gardens. The district has four Taluks viz, Udumpanchola, Devikulam, Peermedu and Thodupuzha covering 51 Gram Panchayaths and 64 villages. Idukki has a population of 11,29,221. With just 259 people per sq. km, the district has the least population density among the 14 districts of Kerala. Total number of households in the district is 2,65,344, which is lowest in the state. 88.69 per

35

cent of the population is literate (Male 92.33%; Female 85.02%). Sex ratio in the district is 993, lower than that of the state average. Christians constitute the majority among the population of the district. The district has a high concentration of Scheduled Tribe population. According to the latest Census around 11,516 Scheduled Tribe families are living in the district. There are 245 tribal settlements in the District of which 74 are in Thodupuzha; 11 in Peermedu; 126 in Devikulam and 34 in Udumbanchola Taluk. Almost all the scheduled tribes are living in the remote hilly banks and in the deep interiors of forests of the district. Mannans, Mala Arayans, Urali, Muthuvans, Malapulaya, Paliyan and Ulladan are the different groups of tribals in the district. Many of the ST population are working as agricultural labourers in the tea and cardamom estates. Devikulam and Peerumedu taluks have a large concentration of Tamil population who are mainly labourers in tea and cardamom estates. 86.98 per cent of the population in the district is literate, making it one of the lowest in the state. This is mainly attributed to lower literacy rate among the tribal population. . The economy of Idukki is predominantly agriculture. The District has the agro-climatic conditions suitable for the cultivation of plantation crops like tea, coffee, rubber, coconut, cardamom, pepper, etc. The District acquired second place in the state in agriculture produces. Idukki district is industrially very backward. However, with its incredible scenic beauty, the district is a major tourist attraction in the state, attracting lakhs of international and domestic tourists every year. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady and Munnar hill station are the renowned tourist centers in the district. Work participation rate is just 39.71 per cent. 6,84,390 people in the productive age group are not engaged in any work. Of the total working population, half of them belong to agriculture and agriculture labourers. About ten per cent of the total workers are estate labourers. The poverty ratio in the district, as reported in 2001 census, is relatively low with just 15 per cent and this includes 3,856 Scheduled Tribe families. However, the recent agriculture
36

crisis has resulted in increased risk of more households falling into poverty. The closure of several tea estates in the region in the last few years has also aggravated the situation. Alapuzha District Bounded on the northeast by Ernakulam and Kottayam districts, on the east by Pathanamthitta, on the southeast by Kollam district and on the west by the Arabian Sea, Alapuzha district lies in the eastern costal plains of the state. The district is divided into two revenue divisions viz:Alapuzha division comprising Cherthala, Ambalappuzha and Kuttanad taluks with 47 villages and Chengannur division comprising Karthikapally, Chengannur and Mavelikkara taluks with 44 villages. Total Gram Panchayaths in the district is 75. According to 2001 census, Alapuzha district has a population of 2.10 million. The density of population is 1489 persons per sq. km. which is highest in the state. The district has 0.48 million households and population per household is 4.36. The district has an SC population of 1,99,231 which constitutes 9.45 per cent of the total population of the district. There is also a small number of tribal population (3131) in the district. The sex ratio recorded in this district is 1079 females to 1000 males. The district has the third highest literacy level among the districts of Kerala with 93.66 per cent. The female literacy rate is also high with 91.14 against the state average of 87.86 per cent. A good part of Alapuzha District is densely covered with waterways. Kuttanad, a low lying area in the district is famous for paddy fields and a large network of inland canals. The district economy depends primarily on the agriculture and marine resources. The total production of rice here is almost ten percent of the total production of the State. The district also has a major share in the coconut cultivation. Alapuzha is the most important centre in the State for coir industry. Almost 80 per cent of the coir factories in the State are in this district. However, the district is industrially backward. Alapuzha district occupies a very important position in the fisheries map of Kerala. Its western boundary is the Arabian sea, having rich marine resources. More than 20 per
37

cent of the total area of the district is water-logged, and the 20,000 acres of kari lands and 42,736 acres of paddy fields in Kuttanad are suitable for pisciculture. The total population of fishermen in the district is 136,300. Alapuzha is relatively backward district in terms of the standard of living of the people. Per Capita income of the district, Rs 21,916, is one of the lowest in the state. Agriculture and traditional industries in the district are facing a major crisis, where a major section of population is engaged in farming and in the coir industry. This had resulted in increased poverty among the rural masses as the bulk of the poor in villages were employed in these sectors. There was a decline in the per capita income of agricultural labourers, farmers, and coir workers and small-scale manufacturers of coir products. 45.95 per cent of the rural families in Alapuzha are considered below-the-poverty line families. This makes it as the district with highest proportion of population below poverty line. The Work Participation Rate (WPR) of the district is very low with just 34.30 per cent of the population (in the productive age group) engaged in some kinds of work. While the WPR of male is 49.41 per cent, the WPR of female is only 20.29 per cent. Of the total workers in the district, 54,704 are main workers while 1,76,305 are marginal workers. Only 3.81 per cent of the workers are cultivators while 13.70 per cent are agriculture labourers. 7.20 per cent are engaged in household industries and 75.29 per cent are other workers. Conclusion The analysis of the socio-economic and demographic status of the state points to the fact that Kerala has achieved a very distinct development and has high potential of growth in terms of human resources. This is supplemented by the rich natural resources of the state. However, the economic scenario of the state is not very promising with poor growth in the farm sector which employs a vast majority of the population and relatively poor industrial growth. The States unique inter-linkage with international economy through its large expatriate population and high concentration of
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cash crops in the agriculture makes the State vulnerable to any economic recession in the world economy. Even though the poverty rate in Kerala is low (15%) among the Indian states, numerically the size of BPL families still holds a serious attention as there are1.72 million BPL households. The low work participation rate of Kerala (33.3%) further increases the concern over the sustainability of the development of the state. The increased unemployment among the population put the State with greater responsibility of creating employment opportunities to this population. Thus focused intervention to create sustainable livelihood source for the poor still holds importance in Kerala. The profile of the four chosen districts, viz. Palakkad, Wayanad, Idukki and Alapuzha shows that the economy of these districts is predominantly agrarian. In all these districts the dependency of the people on its rich natural resources are visible and the livelihood security hence depends on the protection of the natural resources. Though social and demographic progress is better in all the districts, the economic situation is not promising. The incidence of poverty and low work participation rate in these districts coupled with the ever shrinking farm sector necessitates planned intervention like NREGA in these districts. *****

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Chapter - 4
Socio-Economic Profile of Sample Households
In the last chapter, we have presented the profile of the Kerala State and the selected districts with reference to select key variables. We have made an attempt here to sketch the profile of the NREGS workers in chosen districts. The objective is to identify the socio-economic background of the workers and their families. This, we thought, would enable us to ascertain and portray what type of households get involved in NREGS. It must be noted that all the respondents (620) we have interviewed across the four districts are NREGS workers. Their profile are presented with reference to the population of the households, size of the family, gender, community, literacy, housing, occupation, migration, income, expenditure, assets possessed, borrowings and social participation. Population and Gender The total population of the households is 2,592. The average size of the family is 4.18. District wise distribution of the average size of the families shows that Alapuzha has slightly large size of family followed by Wayanad. The gender wise distribution of the population shows a slightly high percentage of female population (50.42%). More or less similar pattern can be observed in all the districts except Alapuzha, where the male population is marginally high (50.14%) (See Figure 4.1) Figure 4.1: Population and Gender

52 51 P erc ent 50 49 48 47 46

51.69 50.39 49.93 48.31 49.61 49.86 Male F emale 50.07 50.14 50.42 49.58

P alakkad

Idduki

W ayanad A lapuz ha

Total

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Age The age-wise distribution of population of the sample households reveals that around two-third of the population are in the productive age group of 19 to 60 years. Further disaggregation shows that 30.32 per cent are in the age group of 19-35 years and 33.41 per cent are in the age group of 36 to 59 years. School going age group constitutes around one-fourth of the total population. The aged population accounts for 7.45 per cent while, children below 5 years accounts for 4.48 per cent. District-wise analysis shows that the age group of 36-59 is high in all the four districts. The aged population is highest in Palakkad (9.74%) while population below five years is highest in Idukki (6.10%) (See Table 4.1).
Table 4.1: Age of the Sample Population Districts Age (Years) <5 Palakkad Idduki Wayanad Alapuzha 29 (4.0) 164 (22.9) 218 (30.5) 248 (34.6) 57 (7.9) 716 (100) Total 116 (4.5) 631 (24.3) 786 (30.3) 866 (33.4) 193 (7.5) 2592 (100)

18 39 30 (3.4) (6.1) (4.3) 121 148 198 6-17 (22.7) (23.2) (28.2) 167 194 207 18-35 (31.3) (30.4) (29.5) 176 210 232 36-59 (32.9) (32.9) (33.0) 52 48 36 > 60 (9.7) (7.5) (5.1) 534 639 703 Total (100) (100) (100) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey The figures in the parenthesis represent the column percentage

Caste Composition Caste-wise distribution of the households indicates that 16.9 per cent of the sample households belong to Scheduled Caste community; 12.3 per cent to Scheduled Tribes. The remaining 70.80 per cent of the households belong to other caste groups. Idukki district has the highest percentage of SC families with 26.9 per cent of the sample households followed by Alapuzha with 25.6 per cent. Wayanad has the least number of SC households, where just four households (2.5%) fall under this category. However, the district has the highest number of Scheduled Tribe households (20.6%), followed by Palakkad (17.9%) and Idukki (10%) (See Figure 4.2). An important inference

41

that can be drawn from the analysis is that all households, irrespective of community, participated in NREGS. Figure 4.2: Caste Composition of the Sample Households
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 76.9 70 63.1 73.1

70.8

P erc ent

26.9 17.9 12.1 P alakkad 20.6 10 2.5 Idduki

25.6 16.9 12.3 1.3 Total

SC ST O ther

W ayanad A lapuz ha

D is tric ts

Literacy The overall literacy rate among the sample population is 91.78 per cent. District-wise analysis reveals that Alapuzha has the highest literacy rate with 99 per cent followed by Wayanad (93.75%), Idukki (90.14%) and Palakkad (81.46%). The educational attainment of the sample population shows that majority of them have attained middle or secondary school level education. They together accounts for 52 percent. Graduates constitute around 5 percent. The percentage of professionals is around one per cent. The educational attainment is slightly better in Alapuzha and Wayanad when compared to other two districts. (See Table 4.2) Number of Disabled There are 105 disabled persons constituting 4.05 per cent of the total population. The distribution of disabled population based on the nature of disability shows that, 33.33 per cent of them are orthopaedic, followed by visually disabled (24.76%) and hearing /speech impaired (20.95%). There are a few cases of mental illness (9 persons), mental retardation (5 persons) and cerebral palsy (8 persons). Among the districts, Palakkad has the maximum disabled population followed by Alapuzha. (See Table 4.3)
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Table 4.2: Literacy status of the sample population Districts Palakkad Idduki Wayanad Alapuzha Literacy level 99 63 44 7 Illiterate (18.5) (9.9) (6.3) (0.1) 18 27 13 17 Informal education (3.4) (4.2) (1.9) (2.4) 101 99 140 103 Primary (18.9) (15.5) (19.9) (14.5) 103 184 142 169 Middle (19.3) (28.8) (20.2) (23.6) 141 151 195 258 Secondary (26.4) (23.6) (27.7) (36.1) 40 65 106 102 Higher secondary (7.5) (10.2) (15.0) (14.3) 22 31 44 32 Graduate (4.1) (4.9) (6.3) (4.5) 3 6 9 15 Professionals (0.6) (0.9) (1.3) (2.1) 7 13 11 12 Not applicable (1.3) (2.0) (1. 6) (1.7) 534 639 704 715 Total (100) (100) (100) (100) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Total 213 (8.2) 75 (2.9) 443 (17.1) 598 (23.1) 745 (28.7) 313 (12.1) 129 (4.1) 33 (1.3) 43 (1.7) 2592 (100)

Table 4.3: Number of Disabled among sample population Districts Nature of Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha the Disability 8 3 2 13 Visual (20.5) (17.7) (12.5) (39.4) 7 1 4 10 Hearing/Speech (17.1) (5.9) (25) (30.3) 16 10 5 4 Orthapaedic (41.0) (58.8) (31.3) (12.1) 3 2 2 2 Mentally ill (7.7) (11.8) (12.5) (6.1) 2 3 Mentally retarded (5.1) (18.8) 3 1 4 Cerebral palsy (7.7) (5.9) (12.1) 39 17 16 33 Total (37.1) (16.2) (15.2) (31.4) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Total 26 (24.8) 22 (20.1) 35 (33.3) 9 (8.6) 5 (4.8) 8 (7.6) 105 (100)

Housing A vast majority of the sample households (90.3%) have house of their own. Around seven percent of them live in rented houses. The respondents who live in rented houses are found to be more in Idukki and Wayanad. Six households live in estate quarters at free of cost; all of them were in Idukki
43

district. District-wise analysis shows that Alapuzha has the maximum number of households (96.3%) having own house followed by Palakkad (91.4%) (See Table 4.4).
Table 4.4 Housing details of the Sample Households Districts Ownership of the house Own Rented Living with parents Staying with relatives Free Estate Quarters Total Palakkad 128 (91.4) 5 (3.6) 3 (2.1) 4 (2.9) Idduki 136 (85.0) 17 (10.6) 1 (0.6) 6 (3.8) 160 (100) Wayanad 142 (88.8) 17 (10.6) 1 (0.6) Alapuzha 154 (96.3) 4 (2.5) 1 (0.6) 1 (0.6) 160 (100) Total 560 (90.3) 43 (6.9) 6 (1.0) 5 (0.8) 6 (1.0) 620 (100)

140 160 (100) (100) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

The type of house in which the respondents live indicates that majority of them live in asbestos/tiled/tin roof houses (72.7%). Around 10 per cent of them live in houses constructed under the Indira Awas Yojana. 8.5 per cent of them live in huts. Respondents living in concrete houses were found to be more in Idukki (15.6%) followed by Wayanad. More number of respondents in Palakkad were found to have availed IAY when compared to respondents in other districts. (See Figure 4.3) Figure 4.3: Details on Housing Type of sample households

120 7.9 100 80 60 40 20 0


al ak ka d

15.6

12.5

0.6

9. 2

Pe rce n t

68. 6 65. 6 15 9.4 8. 6


Id du ki

80.6 75.6 72. 7 C onc rete A s bes tos /Tiled/Tin roof IA Y

2.5 9.4 9.4

11.9 6.9

9. 5 8.5

H ut

W a ya n ad

A la pu zh a

Di stric ts

T ot al

44

Majority of the households (82.1%) have electricity connection. Among the districts, Alapuzha has the maximum number of houses (91.3%) with electricity connection followed by Palakkad (86.4%). The percentage of households without electricity was found to be high in Idukki district (26.9%). Figure 4.4: Electricity Connection in Sample Households

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

86.4 73.1 78.1

91.3 82.1

P erc ent

26.9 13.6

21.9 8.8

17.9

Y es No

P alakkad

Idduki

W ayanad

A lapuz ha

Total

D is tric ts

Source of Drinking Water The distribution of households based on the source of drinking water shows that majority of the households have access to protected drinking water sources (See Table 4.4). Around 83 per cent of the households have safe sources of drinking water such as water tap within household premises (24.2%), public stand post (28.9%) and open well (27.1%). Rest of the households depend on unprotected water sources such as river, stream and water falls. District-wise distribution of households shows that three sources of drinking water viz, water tap within the household premises, public taps and open wells constitute the main sources of drinking water in all the four districts. In Alapuzha, 23.8 per cent of the households depend on rivers while in Idukki 17 per cent of the population depends on unprotected sources of drinking water. In Palakkad, however, 90 per cent have access to protected sources of drinking water followed by Wayanad with 84.5 per cent.

45

Table 4.5: Source of Drinking Water for the sample households Districts Source of drinking water Water tap in the HH premises Public stand post Hand pump Open well Pond River Stream water Falls Direct pipe connection from falls Total Palakkad 18 (12.9) 84 (60.0) 4 (2.9) 20 (14.3) 1 (0.7) 7 (5.0) 6 (4.3) 140 (100) Idduki 68 (42.5) 21 (13.1) 2 (1.3) 42 (26.3) 1 (0.6) 2 (1.3) 4 (2.5) 14 (8.8) 6 (3.8) 160 (100) Wayanad 50 (31.3) 11 (6.9) 4 (2.5) 70 (43.8) 17 (10.6) 5 (3.1) 2 (1.3) 1 (0.6) 160 (100) Alapuzha 14 (8.1) 63 (39.4) 5 (3.1) 36 (22.5) 2 (1.3) 38 (23.8) 2 (1.3) 160 (100) Total 150 (24.2) 179 (28.9) 15 (2.5) 168 (27.1) 21 (3.5) 47 (7.6) 17 (2.7) 16 (2.6) 7 (1.1) 160 (100)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Households with latrine facilities Majority of the households (83.2%) have latrine facilities in their houses. A small number of households (1.8%) depend on community latrines. Among the four selected districts, Wayanad has the maximum number of households (95%) with latrine facilities. Figure 4.5: Households with latrine facilities
94.4 72.9 73.1

100 80 percent 60 40 20 0.7 0 Palakkad Idduki 26.4 21.9 5

91.3 83.2

5.6

7.5 1.3 Alapuzha

1.51.8 Total

Wayanad Districts

Households with Toilet

Households without Toilet

Using Community Latrine

46

Main Occupation of the Sample Population The working population constitutes 64 per cent of the total population. The distribution of the population based on their main occupation reveals that 31.18 per cent of the working population is agriculture labourers. Farmers constitute 11.41 per cent of the working population. Skilled labourers constitute 6.19 per cent while unskilled labourers account for 13.26 per cent. Quite an interesting observation is that NREGS has emerged as the main occupation to a sizeable section of the working population (16.49%). It is quite high in Wayanad district with 28.81 per cent of respondents responding NREGS as the main occupation. In other districts, it hovers around 12 to 13 per cent. Farming as main occupation was high in Idukki district (23.56%) while it was low (2.04%) in Alapuzha district. ( See Table 4.6)
Table 4.6 Main Occupation of the Sample Population Districts Main Occupation House wife Palakkad Idduki Wayanad Alapuzha 77 (19.6) 11 (2.8) 8 (2.0) 126 (32.1) 32 (8.1) 66 (16.8) 1 (0.3) 6 (1.5) 1 (0.3) 1 (0.2) 14 (3.5) 50 (12.7) 393 (100) Total 192 (13.4) 34 (2.4) 164 (11.4) 448 (31.2) 89 (6.2) 169 (11.8) 3 (0.2) 13 (0.9) 22 (1.5) 1 (0.1) 7 (0.4) 58 (4.0) 237 (16.5) 1437 (100)

8 53 54 (2.5) (14.5) (15.3) 10 6 7 Retired/ Old age (3.1) (1.7) (1.1) 33 86 37 Farmer/Tiller (10.6) (23.7) (10.5) 137 74 111 Agriculture labour (42.2) (20.3) (31.4) 27 15 15 Skilled labour (8.3) (4.1) (4.2) 38 55 10 Unskilled labour (11.7) (15.1) (2.1) 2 Traditional artisan (0.6) 3 2 2 Services (0.1) (0.6) (0.6) 20 1 Petty shop (6.2) (0.3) 1 Business (0.3) 1 3 2 Government (0.3) (0.8) (0.5) 5 25 14 Private shop (1.5) (6.8) (3.9) 40 45 102 NREGS (12.3) (12.3) (28.8) 325 365 354 Total (100) (100) (100) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

47

Subsidiary Occupation Of the total working population of 1437 from the sample villages 899 have subsidiary occupation. NREGS has emerged as an important subsidiary occupation for two-third of the working population. District-wise analysis shows that NREGS is a very significant subsidiary occupation for 75 per cent of the working population in Alapuzha, followed by Wayanad with 70 per cent. Some of the other subsidiary occupations of the population include agriculture labour (8.68%), farming (4.12%) and skilled labour (3.89%) (See Table 4.7). An important inference that can be drawn from the analysis is that NREGS has emerged as an important source of livelihood for the rural households.
Table 4.7: Subsidiary Occupation of the Sample Population Districts Subsidiary Occupation House wife Palakkad Idduki 2 (0.7) 24 (8.1) 13 (4.4) 15 (5.1) 68 (23.2) 2 (0.7) 169 (57.7) 293 (100) Wayanad 1 (0.6) 3 (1.9) 12 (7.5) 23 (14.4) 2 (1.3) 3 (1.9) 3 (19) 1 (0.6) 1 (0.6) 111 (69.4) 160 (100) Alapuzha 14 (6.1) 6 (2.6) 18 (7.9) 7 (3.1) 10 (4.4) 1 (0.4) 2 (0.9) 171 (74.7) 229 (100) Total 17 (1.9) 13 (1.5) 37 (4.1) 78 (8.7) 35 (3.9) 89 (9.9) 4 (0.4) 35 (3.9) 2 (0.2) 1 (0.1) 4 (0.4) 584 (64.1) 899 (100)

4 (1.8) 1 (0.5) 24 (11.1) 11 (5.1) 8 (3.7) 35 (16.1) 1 (0.5) 133 (61.3) 217 (100)

Retired/ Old age Farmer/Tiller Agriculture labour Skilled labour Unskilled labour Services Petty shop Vendor Business Private shop NREGS Total

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

48

Livestock Owned Out of the total 620 sample households, only 237 (38.23%) possess some kind of livestock. Among them, 37.13 per cent have cows and 29.54 per cent possess goats. Owning of livestock is found to be more in Alapuzha, where 73 households own one or more livestock followed by Palakkad with 59 households. The human-animal population ratio is very low with 1:0.1.
Table 4.8: Livestock Owned by Sample Households Districts Palakkad Details He buffaloes Cows Bullock Goat Sheep Pig Poultry donkey Rabbit Total 21 (35.5) 2 (3.4) 18 (30.5) 17 (28.8) 1 (1.7) 59 (100 ) 20 (41.7) 1 (2.1) 18 (37.5) 2 (4.2 ) 5 (10.4) 2 (4.2 ) 48 (100) 1 (1.75 ) 40 (70.1) 10 (17.5) 6 (10.5) 57 (100) 7 (9.6) 2 (27.4) 4 (5.5) 42 (57.5) 73 (100) 2 1 (0.42) 88 (37.1) Idduki Wayanad Alapuzha Total

3 (1.3) 66 (27.9) 4 (1.7) (0.8) 70 (29.5) 1 (0.4 ) 2 (0.8 ) 237 (100)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Household Assets Owning household assets is an indicator of improved income and a symbol of wellbeing. Around 19 per cent of households do not own any household assets. Number of households without any household assets is high in Idukki district with 27.50 per cent followed by Wayanad with 20 per cent. Respondents having household assets indicate that more than 50 percent them possess cell phone and television. Around one-third of them have LPG connection. District-wise analysis shows that the respondents possessing cell phone and LPG are more in Wayanad with 60.63 per cent and 41.88 per cent respectively. With regard to possession of television,
49

respondents in Alapuzha stand first with 60.63 per cent. The respondents in Palakkad and Alapuzha are found to have possessed more items of household assets when compared to other two districts.
Table 4.9 Household Assets of the Sample Respondents Districts Palakkad Idduki Wayanad Alapuzha 26 (18.6) 59 (42.1) 21 (15.0) 81 (57.9) 54 (38.6) 77 (55.0) 17 (12.1) 20 (14.3) 3 (2.1) 2 (1.4) 44 (27.5) 9 (5.6) 33 (20.6) 78 (48.8) 3 (1.9) 82 (51.3) 1 (0.6) 0 32 (20.0) 8 (5.0) 75 (46.9) 75 (46.9) 11 (6.9) 97 (60.6) 1 (0.6) 6 (3.8) 3 ( 1.9) 4 (2.5) 160 15 (9.4) 13 (8.1) 64 (40.0) 97 (60.6) 129 (80.6) 80 (50.0) 16 (10.0) 5 (3.1) 2 (1.3) 2 (1.3) 160

Details Nil Grinder

Total 117 (18.9) 89 (14.4) 193 (31.1) 331 (53.4) 197 (31.8) 336 (54.2) 34 (5.5) 31 (5.0) 6 (0.1) 5 ( 0.8) 6 (0.1) 620

LPG connection Television Fans Cell phone Cycle Two wheeler Three wheeler Solar home lighting system Other assets

Total 140 160 Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Households Annual Income The details on annual income of the respondents indicate that more than one-third of the respondents still live below poverty line (less than Rs. 24,000/). The percentage of people having less than Rs.24,000/- per annum was found to be high in Alapuzha (48.7%) followed by Palakkad (36.5%), Idukki (31.3%) and Wayanad (26.3%). Around 24 per cent of the households have an annual income of more than Rs.48,000/-. District-wise analysis shows more or less similar pattern.

50

Figure 4.6: Annual Income of the Sample Households

20 P ercent 17.1 26.4 22.9 13.6 P alakkad

26.3 12.5 25 19.4 16.9 Idduki

26.9 18.8 28.1 18.8 7.5 W ayanad Distric ts

21.9 10 19.4 20.6

23.9 14.5 24.7 20.3 > 48000 36000-48000 24000-36000 12000-24000 < 12000 16.6 Total

28.1 A lapuz ha

Expenditure Pattern The data on expenditure pattern of households reveals that around 46 per cent was spent on food. The other major items of expenditure are education (9%), medical (7.63%), clothing (7.12%), transport (7.01%) and redemption of prior debts (5.5%). District-wise analysis shows that households in Alapuzha were found to have spent more on food (51.6%).
Table 4.10: Annual Expenditure (in percentage) Districts Expenditure Food Fuel and electricity Education Tobacco, alcohol, gambling Entertainment Cosmetic Clothing Medicals Transport Festivals, religious ceremonies House maintenance Interest on loans, debts Palakkad 42.1 4.2 8.0 4.4 2.5 3.8 6.3 6.9 8.2 4.5 2.4 Idduki 45.5 2.6 10.7 1.4 1.1 4.7 7.5 9.0 6.6 3.9 1.7 Wayanad 46.1 2.7 8.7 1.4 2.0 4.6 8.5 7.2 7.0 4.7 1.5 Alapuzha 51.6 6.6 8.5 0.8 2.0 2.6 6.1 7.4 6.4 2.6 1.1 4.4 100.0 Total 46.5 4.0 9.0 1.9 1.9 3.9 7.1 7.6 7.0 3.9 1.6 5.5 100.0

7.0 5.2 5.6 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

51

SHG Membership Self Help Group movement was successful in all the southern states including Kerala. Both Government as well as Non Governmental Organizations have promoted this community based womens organizations in the state. SHGs are predominantly a women organization. Men SHGs are yet to emerge. Kudumbashri in Kerala promotes the SHGs of women. Of the total sample population, 70.98 per cent are eligible to become members of SHG. Of this, two-third of them is members of SHG. On an average, each household has a membership in SHG. In Alapuzha, Idukki and Palakkad certain households have more than one member in SHGs Figure 4. 7: SHG Membership of women from sample households

70 60 50 40 P e rc e nt 30 20 10 0

64.3

66.8

61.3 38.6

63.2

35.6

33.1

36.7 Y es No

P alakkad

W ayanad

A lapuz ha

Total

Distric ts

Borrowing Of the total sample population, 400 have taken loan from various sources. The distribution of household shows that, majority (36.25%) have taken loan from SHGs, followed by those from Co-operative banks (28.25%). Around two-third of the respondents are reported to have borrowed during the last year. A considerable number of respondents have gone in for second loan. There are a very few respondents, who have gone in for third and fourth loan. In the case of first Loan, the major source of borrowing for the respondents is SHG (36.8%) followed by Co-operative banks and Commercial

52

banks (24.10%). The institutional sources including SHGs are found to be major source of borrowing for 90 per cent of the borrowers. Non-institutional sources such as moneylenders and relatives constitute around 3 per cent. (See Figure 4.7) The households were found to have borrowed for a variety of purposes. Construction and repairing of house was the major purpose (20.76%) followed by education (17.84%), medical (10.53%) and agriculture (10.23 %). A sizable percentage of households borrowed money for purchase of household assets (7.06 per cent), purchase of livestock (5.56%) and purchase of food grain (4.09%). A few households borrowed to purchase land and to redeem the prior debt. Around 10 per cent of the households borrowed to meet expenses related to ceremonies and festivals. (See Table 4.11) The extent of loan borrowed shows that around 46 per cent of the households borrowed less than Rs.10,000/-. 22 per cent of the households borrowed between Rs.10,000Rs.20,000. A sizable percentage of households (8.5%) borrowed more than Rs.50,000/-. The average loan borrowed was Rs.28,913/-. (See Table 4.12) The interest rate as reported by majority of the respondents (82.59%) was less than 12 per cent, followed by 13-24 per cent (14.51%). The mean rate of interest is around 13 per cent indicating that the households have been able to borrow at a reasonable rate, as the major source of borrowing is institutional agencies including the SHGs. (See Table 4.13) The repayment of loan raised is found to be satisfactory as majority of the respondents, who have borrowed started repaying the loan. Around onefourth of the loan raised by the households has been repaid. (See Table 4.14)

53

Figure 4.7: Source of Borrowing of the sample households


60 50 40 P ercent C ommerc ial B anks 30 20 10 0
du ki an la k Id Al ap ay To ta l ad ka d uz ha

C o-O perative B anks S HG Money lenders R elatives Ins uranc e C ompanies P rivate B anks Hous ing board

Pa

Distric ts

Table 4.11: Purpose of Borrowing of the sample population Districts Purpose Enterprise Agriculture Purchase of land Purchase of household assets Purchase of food grains Purchase of animals Construction of house Repairing of house Education Medical treatment Repayment of old loan Social & Religious ceremony Total Palakkad 2 (2.4) 2 (2.4) 5 (5.95) 8 (9.5) 1 (1.2) 6 (7.1) 26 (30.9) 1 (1.2) 8 (9.5) 8 (9.5) 4 (4.8) 37 (4.4) 84 (100) Idduki 15 (18.8) 6 (7.5) 1 1.3) 5 (6.3) 3 (3.8) 4 (5.0) 7 (8.8) 1 (1.3) 12 (15.0) 15 (18.8) 2 (2.5) 7 (0.9) 80 (100) Wayanad 3 (3.1) 20 (20.8) 1 (1.0) 6 (6.3) 5 (5.2) 5 (5.2) 13 (13.5) 4 (4.1) 20 (20.9) 7 (7.3) 4 (4.1) 1 (0.1) 96 (100) Alapuzha 2 (2.4) 7 (8.5) 4 (4.8) 4 (4.8) 5 (6.1) 4 (4.8) 13 (15.8) 6 (7.3) 21 (25.6) 6 (6.3) 2 (2.4) 82 (100) Total 22 (6.4) 35 (10.2) 11 (3.2) 23 (6.7) 14 (4.1) 19 (5.6) 59 (17.2) 12 (3.5) 61 (17.8) 36 (10.5) 12 (3.5) 45 (13.2) 342 (100)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

54

Table 4.12 Districts Extent of Loan <10000 10000-20000 20000-30000 30000-40000 40000-50000 >50000 Total Average

Extent of Loan Borrowed by the Sample Households Palakkad 28 (34.6) 25 (30.9 ) 11 (13.6 ) 8 (9.9 ) 7 (8.6 ) 2 (2.5 ) 81 (100 ) 22728.40 Idduki 26 (39.4 ) 17 (25.8 ) 4 (6.1 ) 1 (1.5 ) 7 (10.6 ) 11 (16.7 ) 66 (100 ) 39598.48 Wayanad 47 (54.0 ) 17 (19.5 ) 9 (10.3 ) 5 (5.7 ) 4 (4.6 ) 5 (5.7 ) 87 (100 ) 21149.43 Alapuzha 38 (52.1 ) 9 (12.3 ) 6 (8.2 ) 6 (8.2 ) 4 (5.5 ) 10 (13.7 ) 73 (100 ) 35369.86 Total 139 (45.3 ) 68 (22.1 ) 30 (9.8 ) 20 (6.5 ) 22 (7.2 ) 28 (9.1 ) 307 (100 ) 28913.68

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Table 4.13 Amount Repaid Districts Sources No Repayment < 10000 10000-20000 20000-30000 30000-40000 40000-50000 > 50000 Total Average Palakkad 25 (30.9 ) 47 (58.0 ) 5 (6.2 ) 2 (2.5 ) 1 (1.2 ) 1 (1.2 ) 81 (100) 6373.27 Idduki 31 (47.0 ) 31 (47.0 ) 2 (3.0 ) 2 (3.0 ) 66 (100 ) 2954.24 Wayanad 49 (56.3 ) 34 (39.1) 3 (3.4 ) 1 (1.1 ) 87 (100 ) 2339.08 Alapuzha 14 (19.2 ) 50 (68.5 ) 5 (6.8 ) 1 (1.4 ) 1 (1.4 ) 2 (2.7 ) 73 (100) 7977.40 Total 119 (38.8 ) 162 (52.8 ) 15 (4.9 ) 3 (1.0 ) 2 (0.7 ) 3 (1.0 ) 3 (1.0 ) 307 (100) 4876.43

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

55

Table 4.14 Interest Rate Districts Interest Rate No interest <12 13-24 25-36 37-48 >49 Total Palakkad 57 (70.4) 22 (27.2) 1 (1.2) 1 (1.2) 81 (100) Idduki 60 (90.9) 3 (4.5) 1 (1.5) 1 (1.5) 1 (1.5) 66 (100) Wayanad 1 (1.1) 85 (97.7) 1 (1.1) 87 (100) Alapuzha 39 (53.4) 33 (45.2) 1 (1.4) 73 (100) 15.52 Total 1 (0.3) 241 (78.5) 59 (19.2) 3 (1.0) 2 (0.7) 1 (0.3) 307 100) 12.78

Average 13.58 12.13 10.21 Interest rate Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Migration Around 13 per cent of the 620 respondents reported incidence of migration in their families (See Table 4.15).The incidence of migration was high (20%) in Palakkad when compared to other districts. The number of persons migrated from the households indicates that, only one has migrated in majority of the households (87.5%) (See Table 4.16). The duration of migration in majority of the families was more than six months. Persons migrating for more than six months were quite high (82.35%) in Alapuzha district, followed by Idukki with 69.56 per cent (See Figure 4.8). Places where people migrate shows that 40 per cent migrate to other states; 20 per cent within the district. People migrating to other states are high in Alapuzha (82.4%) (See Table 4.18) The main reasons for migration as reported by the respondents are: i) seeking employment during lean season (40 %); ii) education of children (32.5% ) and; iii) better wages (22.5%). (See Table 4.17)

56

Districts Response Yes

Table 4.15: Migration of Sample Household Number of Respondents Palakkad 28 (20.0) 112 (80.0) 140 (100) Idduki 23 (14.4) 137 (85.6) 160 (100) Wayanad 12 (7.5) 148 (92.5) 160 (100) Alapuzha 17 (10.6) 143 (89.4) 160 (100) Total 80 (12.9) 540 (87.1) 620 (100)

No

Total

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Districts No. of Persons One Two Above Two Total Average

Table 4.16 Number of Persons Migrated from the HH Number of Respondents Palakkad 26 (92.9) 1 (3.6) 1 (3.6) 28 (100) 1.11 Idduki 20 (87.0) 2 (8.7) 1 (4.3) 23 (100) 1.22 Wayanad 11 (91.7) 1 (8.3) 12 (100) 1.25 Alapuzha 13 (76.5) 3 (17.6) 1 (5.9) 17 (100) 1.35 Total 70 (87.5) 6 (7.5) 4 (5.2) 80 (100) 1.21

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Table 4.17 Districts Palakkad Reasons Seeking employment in lean season Better earning Children education Better amenities Total 21 (75.0) 5 (17.9) 2 (7.2) 28 (100)

Reasons for migration Idduki 7 (30.4) 8 (34.8) 8 (34.8) 23 (100) Wayanad 2 (16.70) 3 (25.0) 7 (58.3) 12 (100) Alapuzha 2 (11.8) 7 (41.2) 6 (35.3) 2 (11.80) 17 (100) Total 32 (40.0) 18 (22.5) 26 (32.5) 4 (5.0) 80 (100)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

57

Figure 4.8 Duration of Migration

90 80 70 56.6 60 50 P e rc e n t 40 30 20 10 0 P ala k k a d Idduk i 32.1 32.1 21.7 17.9 17.9 8.3 4.3 4.3 11.8 25 69.56

82.35

53.75

< 2 Months 2-4 Months 4-6 Months A bove 6 Months 21.3 16.3 8.8 5.9

W a y a nad A la puz ha Dis tric ts

Tota l

Table 4.18 Place of Migration Districts Place migrated Within in the District Palakkad Idduki Wayanad 4 (33.3) 4 (33.3) 4 (33.3) 12 (100) Alapuzha 1 (5.9) 2 (1.8) 14 (82.4) 17 (100) Total 20 (25.0) 28 (35.0) 32 (40.0) 80 (100)

10 5 (35.7) (21.7) Within the state 11 11 (39.4) (47.8) Outside the State 7 7 (25.0) (30.4) 28 23 Total (100) (100) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Social Participation as a Member in CBOS and CSI Participation in community based organizations and civil society institutions help build social capital among the members of the community. The distribution of respondents based on their social participation shows that almost all are members in one or the other local social organizations. Out of the 620 respondents, 96.3 per cent used to attend Grama sabha meeting. 80 per cent of the respondents are members in caste based associations while 60.2 per cent are SHG members. Around 10 per cent are members in local co-operatives, SHG federations and / or other CBOs. Thus it can be concluded that the respondents are actively participating in local social forums.
58

Table 4.19: Social Participation as a Member in CBOs and CSIs Districts Social Participation CBOs and CSIs Gramasabha Caste Association Youth Association Local Co-operatives NGOs SHGs SHG Federations *Others CBOs **Others Total

Palakkad

Idukki

Wayanad

Alapuzha

Total

124 (88.6 ) 16 (11.4) 1 (0.7) 4 (2.7) 3 (2.1) 74 (52.9) 24 (17.1 ) 28 (20.00) 1 (0.71) 140

154 (96.3) 43 (26.9) 58 (36.3) 3 (1.9) 117 (73.1) 7 (4.3) 15 (9.38) 160

159 (99.4) 10 (6.3) 5 (3.1) 2 (1.3) 6 (3.8) 89 (55.6) 10 (6.2) 9 (5.62) 2 ( 1.25 ) 160

160 (100.0) 59 ( 36.9) 5 (3.1) 2 (1.3) 13 (8.1) 93 (58.1) 24 (15.0) 14 (8.75) 160

597 (96.3) 128 (80.0) 11 (6.7) 66 (10.7.) 25 (4.0) 373 (60.2) 65 (10.5) 66 (10.65) 3 (0.48) 620

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage * Temple Committee fisherman, Merchant Association, Welfare Association, construction workers union,* Political Party Kerala State Tailoring Association National Social Service

Conclusion An analysis of the socio-economic profile of the respondents and the members of their families reveal that the beneficiaries of NREGA are from different sections of the households. The marginalized sections of the community have participated in the scheme. 4.5 per cent of the population are disabled. A vast majority of the population (64%) are in productive age group. The literacy rate is 91.78. However, inter-district variation could be noticed. The housing conditions of the households are fairly good with 91.5 per cent of the respondent living in tiled or concrete houses. 82 per cent of the households have electricity connection. Around 80 per cent of the households have access to protected drinking water sources with minor inter-district variations. Regarding occupation pattern, NREGS has been emerging as main occupation for 16.49 percent and as subsidiary occupation for two-third

59

of the population. The households do not possess much livestock. The human-animal population ratio is very low with 1:0.1. Around 19 per cent of the households do not own any household assets. More than 50 per cent of the households own cell phone and television. Around one-third of the households have LPG connection. Little more than two-third of the households have an annual income of less than Rs.24,000/-. The main sources of borrowing are SHGs, formal financial institutions like commercial banks and co-operatives. The important purposes of borrowing include construction and repairing of house, education, medical, agriculture, purchase of household assets, redemption of prior debts and social ceremonies. Around 45 per cent of the households have borrowed less than Rs.10,000/- ; the mean borrowing being Rs.28,912/-. The repayment is found to be good. The rate of interest on loan is normal and hovers around 13 per cent. The incidence of migration could be noticed in all the districts. It was high in Palakkad. The main reasons for migration are seeking employment during lean season, education of children and better wages. To sum up, the beneficiaries of NREGS are from poor to moderate socio-economic background and the NREGS has been emerging as the major source of livelihood for BPL households in these districts. *****

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Chapter - 5
Performance of NREGS in Kerala
Introduction Kerala State is a pioneer in strengthening local governments in the post constitutional amendment phase. It has more than a decade of experience in local level planning and development. This has provided a unique position to the state to take over full responsibility for implementation of a right-based pro-poor programme of NREGA. The Government has consciously decided to internalize the operationalisation of NREGA into Panchayati Raj System. The salient features of the approach are: i) implementation of NREGA through Grama Panchayats; ii) communicating the distinctive features of the scheme to the various stakeholders, especially to panchayat leaders; iii) involvement of Kudumbasree network of poor women in a big way; iv) focus on total resource management in forest areas, river basins and watershed areas as the state has very little public land; v) designing processes and programmes to see that NREGS fits into the administrative operating system now existing in Panchayats; vi) institution of consistent and coherent information and accountability systems and participatory processes to ensure transparency; and vii) aiming of zero corruption in implementing NREGA (S.M.Vijayanand 2009). These features need to be kept in view while analyzing the performance of NREGS in Kerala. This chapter makes an attempt to assess the performance of NREGS based on the indepth study conducted among 620 respondents spread over 31 panchayats in eight blocks of four districts. The inferences drawn from the survey were supplemented and complemented by the qualitative data gathered through a series of focus group discussions that we had in all selected 31 panchayats among the key stakeholders of the project.

NREGS in Kerala The scheme known as Kerala Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (KREGS) created under NREGA has been implemented in Palakkad and Wayanad districts of Kerala in February 2006. Subsequently, it has been implemented in all the remaining 12 districts. An assessment of the progress of the NREGS in Kerala shows that number of households registered under the scheme has increased from 3.27 lakhs in 2006-2007 to 23.30 lakhs in 2009-10. The percentage of households provided employment under the scheme has shot up from 11.30 to 43.34 recording four fold increase over a period of four years. The total person days employed witnessed a fourteen fold increase from 11.30 lakhs in 2006-07 to 155.87 lakhs in 2008-09. An interesting feature of NREGS in Kerala is the participation of women. Of the total person days of employment, more than 80 per cent was constituted by women person days indicating very high participation of women in the scheme. Person days of households employed for 100 days, though found to be low has recorded a steady increase over a period of time. The progress of NREGS in Palakkad and Wayanad, where the scheme was introduced in 2005-06 in terms of households registered, households provided employment, participation of SC, ST and woman were found to be good. The scheme is picking up in Idukki and Alapuzha (See table 5.1) Start up Activities This is the first ever massive scheme guaranteeing 100 days of employment in a year. The responsibility of implementing the scheme has been given to local panchayats. There is no room for machinery. Contractors have no place in the scheme. It is a people-centered scheme. Hence, meticulous planning and preparation of people are quite essential to see that the scheme takes off smoothly. The Government has initiated various measures to generate awareness about the essential features of the act among the various stakeholders and to provide regular support and help to the Grama Panchayats to implement the scheme in letter and spirit.

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Levels

State

Palakkad

Wayanad

Idukki

Alapuzha

Table 5.1: Performance of NREGS at State level and selected sample Districts of Kerala 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 Particulars Phase I Phase II Phase III Households Registered 327132 579617 2330566 Percentage of Households 3.46 12.90 27.42 provided employment Total Person days (in Lakhs) 11.30 18.58 155.87 Percentage of SCs 21.85 11.18 16.63 persondays Percentage of STs persondays 3.40 20.86 8.82 Percentage of Women person 80.30 70.26 85.92 days Percentage of Households 0.008 1.27 1.76 employed for 100 days Households Registered 202916 208735 221733 Percentage of Households 4.80 12.06 44.50 provided employment Total Person days (in Lakhs) 0.19 14.13 25.98 Percentage of SCs 24.53 27.77 23.75 persondays Percentage of STs persondays 82 2.24 5.54 Percentage of Women person 83.08 87.98 89.56 days Percentage of Households 3.69 0.01 0.06 employed for 100 days Households Registered 124216 125960 129831 Percentage of Households 1.27 32.41 43.40 provided employment Total Person days (in Lakhs) 18769 1413301 2598104 Percentage of SCs 6.04 7.03 6.78 persondays Percentage of STs persondays 18.65 26.14 26.19 Percentage of Women person 63.88 66.13 77.19 days Percentage of Households 2.29 6.59 employed for 100 days Households Registered 149255 184900 Percentage of Households 5.86 27.02 provided employment Total Person days (in Lakhs) 1.00 15.27 Percentage of SCs 12.66 12.76 persondays Percentage of STs persondays 9.32 9.74 Percentage of Women person 67.48 74.20 days Percentage of Households 2.49 employed for 100 days Households Registered 219282 Percentage of Households 17.13 provided employment Total Person days (in Lakhs) 5.31 Percentage of SCs 18.82 persondays Percentage of STs persondays 0.37 Percentage of Women person 89.71 days Percentage of Households 0.10 employed for 100 days

2009-10 Phase III 2330566 43.34 102.84 16.0 9.96 86.23 0.20 221733 35.89 18.42 23.40 5.56 92.41 0.02 129831 39.27 1842820 6.42 29.14 78.79 0.33 184900 31.03 15.62 10.03 10.28 72.14 0.21 219282 14.36 4.62 18.98 0.43 91.84 0.0004

Source: www.nrega.nic.in

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The various start-up activities taken up to generate awareness and to motivate the rural households to actively participate in the scheme include the following: o The District Poverty Alleviation Unit has been given the

responsibility of implementing the scheme. The DPAUs in collaboration with KILA and SIRD organized a series of training programmes on the essential features of NREGA and the mode of implementation to all the Block level and Panchayat level functionaries. o Kudumbasree has been assigned a key role in different phases of implementation of the scheme. Kudumbasree has three-tier structure viz., Neighborhood Group, Area Development Society (ADS), Community Development Society (CDS). The office bearers of ADS and CDS were trained on the scheme by the block level functionaries. o The panchayat functionaries along with the trained office bearers of ADS and CDS generate awareness among the rural households. The process followed by them is as follows: Organising meeting among the various Kudumbasree units and explaining the essential features of the scheme. Organising meeting in public places within the panchayat to make the people aware of the scheme. Organising ward level meetings under the leadership of respective ward members. Organising special meetings in SC/ST colonies to ensure that all SC/ST households get registered under the scheme. Conducting exclusive Grama sabha meetings to create awareness about the scheme and to discuss the issues related to the functioning of the scheme. Displaying banners, boards and posters and distributing handbills to the households to ensure that the scheme is known to everybody.

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Making announcements about the scheme in every street through public address system. Involving various CBOs such as youth clubs, farmers associations and co-operatives in promoting awareness (Alapuzha District).

Arranging exposure visits to generate awareness on best practices.

The process has been meticulously followed throughout the state. Awareness on the Scheme Sources: Participation of the rural households in the scheme primarily depends on the awareness about the scheme. The Government has employed various methods and different agencies to generate awareness about the scheme. The efforts initiated by the government have yielded the desired results. The analysis on the sources through which the households come to be aware of the scheme indicates that the Panchayat played a key role in creating awareness about the scheme followed by SHGs. Media like newspapers, radio, television were also found to have played a significant role in generating awareness about the scheme. District-wise analysis of the sources of awareness shows that the role of SHGs, media, friends, relatives and neighbors was found to be minimal in Palakkad District when compared to other districts (See Table 5.2).
Table 5.2: Awareness about NREGS: Sources Districts Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha Sources N= 140 N=160 N=160 N=160 123 155 131 145 Panchayat ( 87.9) (96.9) (81.9) (90.6) 30 98 92 114 SHG ( 21.4) (61.3) (57.5) (71.3) 24 55 74 49 Friends/Relatives/Neighbors (17.1) (34.4) (46.3) (30.6 12 23 87 66 News papers (8.6) (14.4) (54.4) (41.3) 3 11 55 35 Radio (2.1 ) (6.9 ) (34.4) (21.9) 6 13 46 40 Television (4.3 ) (8.1) (28.8) (25.0) 1 1 5 11 Government Officials (0.7) (0.6 ) (3.1) (6.9) 2 3 12 NGO Representative (1.2 ) (1.9) (7.5) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage to Number of Respondents Total N=620 554 (89.4 ) 334 (53.9) 202 (32.6) 188 (30.3) 104 (16.8) 105 (16.9) 18 (2.9) 17 (2.7)

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Level of Awareness: The Act has certain salient features. People should be aware of the essential features of the Act in order to be able to make use of the scheme fully. Start-up activities undertaken by the government functionaries, panchayats and Kudumbasree have largely helped in generating awareness on the essential features of the Act and the Scheme among the rural households. A very high level of awareness could be found among them on the essential features of the Act such as: i) 100 days of employment per household; ii) minimum wage; iii) equal wage for men and women; iv) universal Act; v) work within a radius of 5 km; vi) no labour displacing machinery; vii) right to payment within a fortnight; and viii) eligibility for unemployment allowance, etc. The level of awareness was found to be high among the Rural Households of Palakkad and Wayanad (See Table 5.3) which is mainly because the scheme was introduced much earlier when compared to the other two districts.
Table 5.3: Awareness on Main Provisions of NREGS Districts Number of Respondents Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha Provisions N= 140 N=160 N=160 N=160 of NREGS 100 days of employment 140 158 160 160 per household (100) (98.8) (100) (100) 138 154 159 158 Minimum wage (98.6) (96.3) (99.4) (98.8) Knowledge about correct 138 158 160 139 minimum wage (98.6) (98.8) (100) (86.9) Equal wage for men and 140 157 159 156 women (100) (98.1) (99.4) (97.5) Work within a radius of 137 144 159 129 5km (97.9) (90.0) (99.4) (80.6) 131 141 144 93 Universal Act (93.6) (88.1) (90.0) (58.1) 137 144 155 145 Role of Grama Sabha (97.9) (90.0) (96.9) (90.6) No Labour Displacing 134 132 149 134 Machinery (95.7) (82.5) (93.1) (83.8) Eligibility for 131 122 140 112 Unemployment Allowance (93.6) (76.3) (87.5) (70.0) Compensation for delayed 128 116 142 119 payment (91.4) (72.5) (88.8) (74.4) Medical assistance for 133 143 149 153 injury at the worksite (95.0) (89.4) (93.1) (95.6) 132 128 156 150 Worksite Facilities (94.3) (80.0) (97.5) (93.8) Exgratia payment for 134 124 133 123 death and disability (95.7) (77.5) (83.1) (76.9) Right to Payment Within a 132 143 148 147 Fortnight (94.3) (89.4) (92.5) (91.9) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage to Number of Respondents

Total N=620 618 (99.7) 609 (98.2) 595 (96.0) 612 (98.7) 569 (91.8) 509 (82.1) 581 (93.7) 549 (88.5) 505 (81.5) 505 (81.5) 578 (93.2) 566 (91.3) 514 (82.9) 570 (91.9)

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Initial response and acceptance of the scheme Inspite of concerted efforts made by the Government and the Panchayats to generate awareness and to get the rural households registered, the initial response for the scheme was not encouraging. The focus group discussion with the various stakeholders revealed that the response was low in the beginning in all the four selected districts. Seeing is believing. Rural households were waiting to see how the scheme got operationalised. Certain category of people, especially the educated, registered under the delusion that Government would provide guaranteed white-collar jobs depending on the level of their education. But when they realized the pattern of works undertaken under the scheme, they either withdrew or kept away from further procedures. However, in course of time, when the scheme was implemented with all its essential features, households have accepted and participated in the scheme. Registration To seek and get employment under the scheme, every household should get registered with the panchayat. The rural households may not register themselves spontaneously. The implementing agencies need to motivate the people to get registered. The Panchayats along with Kudumabashree have played a key role in this regard. The efforts taken by them are : i) distribution of application for registration by the ward members with the help of SHG members; ii) constitution of a special team consisting of school teachers, anganwadi workers and ST promoters to get the households registered (Wayanad District); iii) convening the ward level meetings and persuading the households to register; iv) door-to-door canvassing by the SHGs, ADS and CDS (Wayanad); v) convenes special meetings in SC/ST colonies; vi) enabling the households to take photographs free of cost. Inspite of the sincere efforts made by the Panchayats and the Kudumbasree, there were households which did not show interest in registration. The main reasons for not registering under the scheme are: i) the nature and type of work undertaken under the scheme was a restricting factor
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for some households; ii) the households that could sustain without 100 days of guaranteed employment did not come forward; and iii) lack of awareness about the scheme in some pockets (Idukki). Registration is a continuous process. Applications are received at any point of time in the year and the applicants are registered under the scheme. For instance, around 50 per cent respondents only are reported to have registered under the scheme in Palakkad District when the scheme was launched in the year 2005-06. Around 31 per cent of the respondents registered in 2007-08 and the rest in the subsequent years. This trend could be noticed in other districts too (See Table 5.4). An important inference that could be drawn from the analysis is that registration is not a one-shot affair. It is a continuous process. The rural households after observing the benefits of the scheme have started joining the scheme.
Table 5.4: Year of Registration No of Respondents Palakkad 72 (51.4) 43 (30.7) 19 (13.6) 6 (4.3) 140 (100) Idukki 117 (73.1) 36 (22.5) 7 (4.4) 160 (100) Wayanad 123 (76.9) 19 (11.9) 15 (9.4) 3 (1.9) 160 (100) Alapuzha 1 (0.6) 149 (93.1) 10 (6.3) 160 (100) Total 195 (31.5) 180 (29.0) 219 (35.3) 26 (4.2) 620 (100)

Districts Years 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 Total

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Issue of Job Cards Every household registered under the scheme should be issued a jobcard. The Act stipulates that job-cards should be issued within a fortnight of application for registration. Photographs of adult members who are applicants have to be attached to the job-cards. The cost of job-card including photographing has to be borne as part of the programme cost. The Secretary of the panchayat is responsible for issuing job-cards. The job-cards are issued to the households free of cost. The focus group
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discussions at the panchayat level revealed that in the initial stage it took one to four months to issue the job-cards. The delay was mainly due to inadequate staff and lack of computer facilities. But now, job-cards could be issued within the stipulated period of 15 days. The survey findings indicate that around 48 per cent of the respondents were able to get job- cards within a period of 15 days. Around 23 per cent of the respondents could get the job-cards within a period of 16-30 days. The mean time lag between the date of application and the issue of job cards was 49 days in Alapuzha, followed by Idukki with 45 days, Palakkad 39 days and Wayanad 35 days (See Table 5.5). The primary causes for delay in issuing job cards as reported by the respondents during the focus group discussion are: i) non-production of ration cards by the applicants; ii) lack of internet facilities in some blocks; iii) lack of inadequate staff iv) scattered households in districts like Idukki where the Panchayat officials really struggled to reach the households; v) joint family system prevailing among the ST households. NREGA guarantees employment only to the households. This makes the work inadequate to those living in joint families. As a result, a few ST households were hesitant to come under the scheme.
Table 5.5: Time lag between the Application and Issue of Job Card Districts Number of the Respondents Time lag in (Days) <7 8-15 16-30 31-60 > 60 Total Average Palakkad 36 (25.7) 37 (26.4) 36 (25.7) 12 (8.6) 19 (13.6) 140 (100) 38.50 Idukki 10 (6.2) 50 (31.3) 43 (26.9) 31 (19.4) 26 (16.3) 160 (100) 45.26 Wayanad 57 (35.7) 42 (26.3) 28 (17.5) 14 (8.8) 19 (11.9) 160 (100) 35.29 Alapuzha 16 (10.1) 52 (32.5) 34 (21.3) 38 (23.8) 20 (12.5) 160 (100) 48.77 Total 119 (19.2) 181 (29.2) 141 (22.7) 95 (15.3) 84 (13.5) 620 (100) 42.22

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

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The respondents in the focus group discussion reported that the problem can be overcome provided; i) a separate computer with internet facilities could be made available exclusively for NREGS; and ii) adequate staff are appointed based on the population and number of households registered under the scheme. Around 98 percent of the respondents reported that they did not spend money to obtain the job card. Two percent (Palakkad and Idukki) reported that they spend less than Rs.20/- to obtain the job cards. The workers generally keep the job cards with them. They bring the job card when they come to the worksite. This is a common practice that could be observed in all the blocks of four districts. However, in certain worksites in Idukki district, the mate (ADS) collects the job card, keep it with them till the work gets completed and give it back to the workers on the last day of the work. Job cards are computerized in all the panchayats. Though the Panchayats have problems in issuing job-cards, the process has been made simple and easy over a period of time. Identification of Work The primary motto of NREGA is to provide employment guarantee in rural areas. The Act has specified the kinds of work that can be taken up under the scheme. They are labour-intensive in nature and include: i) water conservation and water harvesting; ii) drought proofing, including afforestation and tree plantation; iii) irrigation canals, including micro and minor irrigation works; iv) provision of irrigation facility, plantation, horticulture land development in land owned by households belonging to SC/ST; v) renovation of water bodies including desilting of tanks; vi) land development; vii) flood control and protection works including drainage in water logged areas; viii) rural connectivity to provide all weather access.

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The panchayats while preparing the plan of work under the scheme should ensure that the works selected fall under the category suggested. Identification and recommendation of the works were the responsibility of the Gram Sabha. The priority in selecting the works that have to be taken up must also be mentioned in the resolution of the Grama Sabha. The focus group discussions revealed that Grama Sabha (Special) were convened to select and recommend the works. People participating in the Gram Sabha were invited to suggest works that could be undertaken in their panchayat, keeping in view the provisions of NREGA. Priorities of works are also decided at the Gram Sabha meeting. The representatives of the people and panchayat officials and the staff concerned arrive at a consensus and sort out the works that could be carried out. Once the items of works are identified, prioritized and recommended by the Gram Sabha, the engineer and overseer prepare the estimates for the works and get them approved by the authorities concerned. Kudumbasree also plays a vital role in facilitating the people to identify the work. An important factor that can be noticed in selection of work is convening the Grama Sabha ward-wise which provides a scope for harvesting the views of all the people from various wards of the Panchayat. Around two-third of the respondents reported that the works to be undertaken under NREGA were selected in Gram Sabha meeting convened at the ward level; and 21 per cent of the respondents said that the works were selected in meeting convened by the ADS/CDS/mates. Around 19 percent of the respondents reported that the works were selected by the panchayat (See Table 5.6). District wise analysis shows that the works were mostly selected at the Grama Sabha meeting at the ward level in Wayanad and Palakkad as reported by more than three-fourths of the respondents. The inference is that the Gram Sabha, the Panchayat and Kudumbasree play an active role in identifying the works.

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Table 5.6: Selection of Works Districts Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Selection of Works N= 140 N=160 N=160 Grama Sabha meeting at ward 107 103 133 level (76.8) (64.4) (83.2) 33 1 38 ADS/CDS/MATE meeting (23.6) (0.6) (23.8) 20 64 6 Panchayat (14.3) (40.0) (3.8) 2 AE (1.3.)

Alapuzha N=160 80 (50.1) 57 (35.6) 27 (16.9) -

Total N=620 423 (68.2) 129 (20.8) 117 (18.9) 2 (0.3)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage to Number of Respondents

Priority of Works The works identified need to be prioritized. Priority is likely to differ from block to block and district to district. Priority depends on the felt needs of the people. The focus group discussions held at different locations across the districts revealed that priority does differ from district to district (See Box 5.1).

Box 5.1: Priority of Works Palakkad o Channel cleaning and renovation of water bodies Watershed activity Desilting the ponds Social forestry Trenches to prevent mananimal conflict Road work Drainage cleaning Land development o o Idukki Renovation of traditional water bodies. Agri-related works Maintenance of roads, culverts etc. Land improvement o o o o Wayanad Rural connectivity Watershed Land development Water harvesting and soil conservation Agri-related works o o Alapuzha Common canal / channel renovation (Removal of Pola Eichornia) Maintenance of road

o o

o o o o

o o o

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Items of work undertaken as reported by the respondents corroborate this. For instance, the major items of work undertaken in Palakkad include renovation of traditional water bodies (67.1%) flood control and protection work (53.6%) rural connectivity (46.4%) irrigation canals (45%) and water conservation and water harvesting (29.3%). The major items of work undertaken in Wayanad as reported by the respondents are rural connectivity (77.5%) followed by land development (68.1%) and water conservation and water harvesting (46.3%). In Alapuzha, the main items of work include common canal / channel renovation (65%) and flood control and protection work including drainage in the water logged area (63.8%) (See Table 5.7). Thus, the priority in the selection of work differs from region to region.
Table 5.7: Items of Works Undertaken Districts Works Undertaken Water conservation and water harvesting Drought Proofing, including Afforestation and the tree plantation Irrigation canals including micro and minor irrigation works Provision of irrigation facilities, plantation, horticulture, land development to land owned by households belonging to the SC/ST / IAY/BPL families Renovation of traditional water bodies including desilting of tanks Land development Flood control and protection work including drainage in the water logged areas. Rural connectivity to provide all-weather access Any other work that may be notified by the Central Govt. Palakkad N= 140 41 (29.3) 3 (2.1) 63 (45.0) Idukki N=160 31 (19.4) 7 (4.4) 13 (8.1) Wayanad N=160 74 (46.3) 1 (0.6) 40 (25.0) Alapuzha N=160 6 (3.8) 37 (23.1) 104 (65.0) Total N=620 152 (24.5) 48 (7.7) 220 (35.5)

1 (0.7)

41 (25.6)

50 (31.3)

42 (26.3)

134 (21.6)

94 (67.1) 22 (15.7) 75 (53.6) 65 (46.4) 6 (4.3)

23 (14.4) 9 (5.6) 48 (30.0) 149 (93.1) 3 (1.9)

23 (14.4) 109 (68.1) 42 (26.3) 124 (77.5) -

44 (27.5) 18 (11.3) 102 (63.8) 36 (22.5) 6 (3.8)

184 (29.7) 158 (25.5) 267 (43.1) 374 (60.3) 15 (2.4)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage to Number of Respondents

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Problems in Identification of Work The success of NREGS, to a great extent, depends on identification of works as per the provisions of the Act. Adequate work has to be identified to meet the demand of the local households. And, the work should be made available within a radius of 5 km. from the household, so as to avoid the hardships to the working population. However, in actual practice, the Gram Sabha and Panchayat may come across certain problems and hurdles in identifying the works. Problem may be location-specific. The focus group discussions with the functionaries of the Panchayats and participants of the programme have brought forth certain problems. They are listed below. o The private land owners adjacent to the common land where the NREGS works are proposed to be taken up raise boundary disputes as there has been no clear and proper demarcation between common and private lands o The private land owners over a period of time have encroached the common land. As a result, officials find it difficult to locate the extent of common land encroached and evict the encroachment. o People suggest various items of work in Grama Sabha meetings. Many such works do not come under the purview of NREGA Act. Officials have to struggle very hard to convince the people that such items of work cannot be taken up under NREGS. o Sometimes the functionaries may not be able to adhere to the guidelines in selection of work as the geography of the district is completely different from other districts. For example, flood control in Kuttaanad in Alapuzha requires intervention every year on the same site which is not possible under the Act. Demand for employment NREGS is demand-driven. People who are interested in doing work under NREGS should come forward voluntarily and seek work job under the scheme. The process of demanding employment as followed is stated here.

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o Job seekers should submit the application form. The members of ADS/CDS and mate facilitate the job seekers to submit the application form. o On receipt of the applications, dated receipts are given. The persons responsible for issuing job cards are overseer, accountant-cumcomputer operator and Secretary of the Panchayat. It must be noted that the dated receipts are given to only those job-seekers, who apply in the prescribed format. o Special efforts have been taken to see that SC/ST households get representation; provided job cards; facilitated to apply for job and provided job under the scheme. o Special community meetings were organized in all the panchayats. o Special awareness classes have been conducted in the SC hamlets under the leadership of the Panchayat Presidents to ensure the inclusion of all SC households under the scheme. o It must be noted that all the households registered under the scheme may not participate in the works. For instance, of the total households registered under the scheme in Idukki district, around 50 per cent participated. The reason is, tea estate labour constitute majority of the working population in Idukki district. Many of them have registered under NREGS. But they do not work under the scheme, as the prevailing wage rate in tea estates is high. In Palakakd, only 55 per cent of the registered workers participated in NREGS. The reasons are i) initial misconception about the scheme; and ii) desire to get unemployment allowance. Figure 5.1: Employment sought under NREGA

94.5

95.7 Palakkad Idukki W ayanad Alapuzha Total

95.6 92.5

94.4

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The survey shows that 95 per cent of the respondents sought work under the scheme. District wise analysis indicates not much variation among the respondents who sought employment. (See figure 5.1). The respondents who sought employment in the prescribed application form should be given the dated receipt. The Grama Panchayat should issue a dated acknowledge the receipt of the written application for employment, against which the guarantee of providing employment within 15 days operates. 57.1 per cent of the respondents reported that they got the dated receipt from the Panchayat; the rest did not. District wise analysis shows that majority of the respondents (around 80%) in Palakkad and Alapuzha got the dated receipt; whereas the job seekers, who got the dated receipt is less than 25 per cent in Idukki and 50 per cent in Wayanad (See Table 5.8). Thus, the practice of issuing dated receipt is not fully adopted.
Table 5.8: Receipt of Dated Receipt Number of Respondents Response Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha 111 37 80 126 Received (79.3) (23.1) (50.0) (78.8) 29 123 80 34 Not Received (20.7) (76.9) (50.0) (21.3) 140 160 160 160 Total (100) (100) (100) (100) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage Districts

Total 354 (57.1) 266 (42.9) 620 (100)

Time lag between date of application and provision of employment The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act stipulates that the employment should be given to the job seekers within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of application. Focus group discussions with the stakeholders shows that in majority of the panchayats, jobs could be given within the stipulated period of the time, but it was delayed in some cases by one month (Alapuzha), five months in Idukki, and seven months in Palakkad. No delay beyond 15 days was reported in Wayanad.

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Table 5.9: Time lag between the Application and Provision of Employment Districts Number of Respondents Time lag in days < 15 16-30 31-45 46-60 > 60 Total Average Time Lag Palakkad 66 (47.1) 40 (28.6) 8 (5.7) 7 (5.0) 19 (13.6) 140 (100) 43 Idukki 121 (75.7) 18 (11.3) 1 (0.6) 16 (10.0) 4 (2.5) 160 (100) 21 Wayanad 146 (91.3) 14 (8.7) 160 (100) 12 Alapuzha 109 (68.2) 20 (12.5) 3 (1.9) 13 (8.1) 15 (9.4) 160 (100) 41 Total 442 (71.2) 91 (14.7) 12 (1.9) 36 (5.8) 39 (6.3) 620 (100) 29

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

The survey findings reflect more or less a similar situation. Around 71 per cent of the total respondents said that they could avail job within 15 days form the date of application. Around 15 per cent said that the time lag varied between 15 to 30 days. District-wise analysis shows that Wayanad has been able to provide employment within a period of 15 days. In other districts there has been delay beyond 60 days. The average time lag between the date of application and provision of job was the lowest in Wayanad (12 days) and the highest in Palakkad with 43 days (See Table 5.9). One-third of the respondents reported that they experienced delay in getting employment. Of them, four percent got the unemployment allowance. Execution of Work The execution of activities designed under the NREGS goes through a systematic process. Better execution and better reach of the scheme greatly depends on the awareness about the process among all the stakeholders of the project. The steps envisaged under the process include: i) Identification of work; ii) preparation of peoples estimates by the engineers; iii) project initiation meeting; iv) citizens information board; v) provision of implements; vi) creating worksite facilities; vii) maintenance of muster roll; viii) maintenance of worksite diary by the mate; ix) inspection of the work and x) documentation of the works (visual). The focus group discussions with various stakeholders of the project, direct observation in the field and perusal of records maintained at different
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levels have clearly indicated that the various steps envisaged under the scheme have been meticulously followed. The process as narrated is more or less the same in the various panchayats across the four districts. The process as narrated by the stakeholders during focus group discussions and crosschecked thro direct observation is outlined here. o Convening the ward level meeting of the people to arrive at a consensus on the works that can be taken up in the respective wards. o Preparation of proposal and action plan by the panchayat officials and NREGS staff based on the works selected. o Submission of proposals and action plan in Gram Sabha meeting and getting its approval. o Inspection of the worksite by the ward members and committee concerned and taking photographs of the works site before the commencement of the work. o Sending the proposals to the appropriate bodies for approval (Block and district level official) o Receipt of technical support and notice from the block and district level functionaries. o Requisition and receipt of muster roll before commencing the work o Receipt of technical and administrative sanctions from the appropriate authorities. o Fixing the dates for commencement of work and announcing the same to the applicants. o Commencement of the work on the stipulated date o Provision of implements for doing the work and providing the facilities required at the worksite o Monitoring of the work by the local level functionaries and by the officials atleast once in fourteen days where the work is under progress. o Measurement of the work executed on completion. o Documentation of the completed works by the overseers and taking photography of the completed works. o Payment of wages to the workers through banks/post offices.
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Average number of days of employment The Act guarantees 100 days of employment to a rural households. Any number of adult members, who registered under the scheme from a household, can work. But the total number of personal days employed per household should not exceed 100 days. There are households that have fully made use of 100 days of guaranteed employment. There are also families, which could not make use of the 100 days of employment. The average number of days of employment, as per the survey, has shown an increasing trend. The average number of days employed per household has increased from 23.6 in 2006-07 to 61.5 days in 2008-09 in Wayand. In palakakd the average number of days of employment has increased from 12.8 days to 53.2 days. These two districts have performed well. Idukki district, where the scheme was introduced in 2007-08, has made slow progress in this regard. Same trend could be seen in Alapuzha district too. (See Figure 5.2) Figure 5.2 Average Number of days of employment
18.8 60.5 19.4 53.2 50.2 36.2 21.8 28.9 23.6 12.9 Palakkad 5 0 Idukki 14.1 13.9 0 0 Alapuzha 22.4 9 Total 18.5 38.6

Wayanad Districts

2006-07 2008-09

2007-08 2009-10 Upto September 2009

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Districts

Palakkad

Idukki

Wayanad

Alapuzha

Total

Table 5.10: Community-wise average number of days employed Years 2009-10 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 Upto September 09 Community SC 18.47 23.94 47.76 20.88 ST 5.60 40.84 53.48 19.88 Others 13.73 37.18 54.00 19.04 Total 12.86 36.23 53.15 19.41 SC 7.30 34.81 22.95 ST 3.50 28.56 17.94 Others 4.32 26.41 21.96 Total 5.04 28.88 21.83 SC 15.25 99.25 88.50 13.75 ST 12.12 41.09 65.76 19.33 Others 26.89 50.99 58.13 18.81 Total 23.55 50.16 60.46 18.79 SC 15.78 20.07 ST 14.00 Others 13.42 12.00 Total 13.86 14.09 SC 3.57 10.65 31.52 21.14 ST 7.11 32.01 52.16 19.08 Others 10.60 23.58 37.99 17.77 Total 8.98 22.42 38.63 18.50

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Community-wise analysis of the average number of days employed indicates that SC/ST households have been able to make use of the scheme to the maximum extent possible. For instance, the average number of days employed was as high as 99.25 days for SC households in Wayanad in the year 2007-08; it came down to 88.59 days in the year 2008-09. Yet, it was much higher when compared to other groups including ST. A comparison of average number of days employed among the different communities for the year 2008-09 in Idukki shows that SC households have high average number of days employed (34.81 days) followed by ST (28.56 days) and others (26.41 days). In Alapuzha too a similar trend could be seen (See Table 5.10). It can, therefore, be concluded that SC/ST households have made use of the scheme better when compared to other communities. This can be attributed to the special efforts made by the functionaries of the scheme to generate awareness among the SC/ST households and motivate them to join and make use of the scheme.

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100 days employed An important indicator of the success of the programme is the number of households made full use of the 100 days of employment. Higher percentage of households fully making use of 100 days of work would mean: i) the active participation of the rural households; ii) ability of the Panchayats to identify the works, generate employment opportunities to meet the demand for employment from the rural households; iii) improved income among the households leading to security of access to food and other basic necessities; and iv) checking of distress migration. The field data on the number of rural households employed for 100 days show that there has been a steady and sure increase. The number of households employed for 100 days was just 12 constituting 4 percent of the respondents in 2006-07. It went upto 86 constituting 14 percent of the households. District-wise analysis reveals that Wayanad leads with 30 percent employed for 100 days followed by Palakkad with 20 per cent of the respondents in 2008-09. The other two districts have initiated the scheme later. Only very few respondents are employed for 100 days. (See Figure 5.3). Figure 5.3: Number of Respondents employed for 100 days per annum
1.4 0.6 0.6 0.6 20 5 10.7 2.9 Palakkad 0 Idukki 21.3 5 Wayanad Districts 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 1.3 7.9 0 Alapuzha 1.9 Total 30 13.9 0.8

Participation in various items of work The Act has listed certain items of labour intensive activities that can be taken up under the scheme. It has also specified that the material cost should not exceed the prescribed limit with an intention of channelising the maximum benefit in the form of improved wages and income to the poor rural
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households. Items of works undertaken across the state are likely to vary as they depend upon the geographical and physiological conditions. An analysis of the participation of the respondents in various items of work reveals that majority of the workers (56.4%) were found to get involved in road works; followed by flood control and protection work (35.5%), irrigation canals (26.6%), land development (23.4%), renovation of traditional water bodies (22.6%) and water conservation and water harvesting (19.4%). District-wise analysis indicates that 93.1 per cent of the respondents in Idukki were found to have participated in road works; in Wayanad too majority of the respondents (69.4%) were found to have participated in road work. While in Alapuzha, majority of the respondents were found to have participated in flood control and protection works (48.8%), and cleaning irrigation canals (43.8%). In Palakkad, majority of respondents (58.6%) were found to have participated in renovation of traditional water bodies and flood control and protection works (50.7%). (See Table 5.11).
Table 5.11: Participation in Works Districts Items of works Rural connectivity to provide allweather access Flood control and protection work, including drainage in the water logged areas. Irrigation canals, including micro and minor irrigation work Land development Renovation of traditional water bodies including desilting of tanks Water conservation and water harvesting Provision of irrigation facilities, plantation horticulture, land development to land owned by households belonging to the SC/ST/IAY/BPL families Drought Proofing, including afforestation and the tree plantation Any other work that may be notified by the Central Govt. Palakkad N= 140 67 (47.9) 71 (50.7) 63 (45.0) 17 (12.1) 82 (58.6) 33 (23.6) 2 (1.4) Idukki N=160 149 (93.1) 39 (24.4 ) 11 (6.9) 8 (5.0) 11 (6.9) 17 (10.6) 20 (12.5) Wayanad N=160 111 (69.4) 32 (20.0) 21 (13.1) 99 (61.9) 18 (11.3) 65 (40.6) 40 (25.0 Alapuzha N=160 21 (13.1) 78 (48.8) 70 (43.8) 21 (13.1) 29 (18.1) 5 (3.1) 35 (21.9) Total N=620 348 (56.1) 220 (35.5) 165 (26.6) 145 (23.4) 140 (22.6) 120 (19.4) 97 (15.6)

4 (2.9) 4 (2.9)

4 (2.5) 1 (0.6)

1 (0.6) 1 (0. 6)

11 (6.9) 3 (1.9)

20 (3.2) 9 (1.5)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage to the Number of the Respondents

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Distance between worksite and place of residence The work should be made available within a radius of 5 km from place of residence of the participants as far as possible. In case, the works could not be identified, the workers are permitted to work in the adjoining panchayats, where enough works are available. The logic in fixing the limits of 5 km radius is to ensure that the workers do not face hardships in reaching the worksite and do not waste time and energy in commuting to the work site. It is also to ensure that all development works are identified and executed within the panchayat limits.
Table 5.12: Distance between residence and place of work Districts Number of Respondents Palakkad Min Max Idduki Min Max Wayanad Min Max Alapuzha Min Max Min Total Max

Distance (in km.) <1

71 (50.70) 62 (44.30) 7 (5.00) 140 (100)

7 (5.0) 76 (54.30) 54 (38.60) 3 (2.10) 140 (100)

101 (58.10) 57 (35.60) 1 (0.60) 1 (0.60) 160 (1000

8 (5.0) 44 (27.50) 76 (47.5) 32 (20.0) 160 (100)

112 (70.00) 39 (24.4) 4 (2.50) 5 (3.10 160 (100)

140 (87.5) 17 (10.6) 3 (1.90)

16 (10.0) 66 (41.3) 78 (48.80)

424 (68.40) 175 (28.2) 15 (2.40) 6 (1.00) 620 (100)

31 (5.0) 255 (41.10) 278 (44.80) 56 (9.00) 620 (100)

1-3

69 (43.1) 70 (43.80 21 (13.10) 160 (100)

3-5

>5

160 (100)

160 (100)

Total

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

The distance between place of residence and place of work has clearly revealed that two-thirds of the respondents have to travel less than 1 km to reach their worksite. Around 28 percent of them have to travel 1 to 3 km and 24 of them have to cover a distance of 3-5 km. Thus, 99 per cent of the job seekers under the scheme were able to get work within a radius of 5 km. District-wise analysis shows that a vast majority of the respondents in Alapuzha (98.1%), Wayanad (94.4%), Idukki (90.6%), Palakakd (93.6 %) have reported that worksites were located within a radius of 3 km from their residence. (See Table 5.12). When the worksite lies beyond 5 km from the headquarters, transport allowance needs to be paid, 30 respondents (4.8%) reported to have received transport allowance.
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Mode of transport A vast majority of the respondents (95%) were able to reach worksite by walk as the distance to worksite was less than 3 km. in all the panchayats. Very few used other modes of transport such as bus, jeep, auto and bike. District-wise analysis shows that workers in Idukki and Wayanad used Jeep, bus and Auto (See Figure 5.4). Boats were the mode of transport in Alapuzha. The mode of transport depends on the geographical condition and the type of transport facilities available in the district. Figure 5.4 Mode of Transport
120 100 80 Percent 60 40 20 3.6 0 0 0 0 Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Districts Foot Bus Jeep Auto Boat Alapuzha Total 15.6 7.5 6.9 10.6 3.1 0.60 6.8 3.7 1.9 1.1 96.4 91.3 96.6 96.9 95

0.6 0 04.4

The transport cost incurred by majority of the respondents (out of 30 respondents) was less than Rs.10/-. Very few respondents were found to have incurred Rs.10/- to Rs.20/- The transport cost in the case of distance exceeding 5 km was borne by the Panchayats. When the distance is less than 5 km. the workers met the travel expenses. Working hours The working hours as reported by majority of the respondents (88%) across the districts is that the work commences at 8 am and closes at 5 pm. In a few places of the districts, the works commenced at 9 am and or at 8.30 a.m. (See the Table 5.13). The workers do have lunch and tea breaks. The working time and duration varies across the Districts. For instance, the workers in Alapuzha district are not accustomed to the working hours followed in other districts. The traditional agriculture labourers in Alapuzha

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work from 06.30 a.m. to 01.30 p.m. The reason is obvious. The district is covered with rivers and backwaters. The water during the morning will be at normal temperature and as the time passes the temperature rises. In other words, the people in the region have to experience hot humid temperature around noon. As a result, the labourers stop working after 01.30 p.m. Thus, working hour for the agriculture labourer in Alapuzha district starts earlier and stops earlier. The workers who are used to this timing find it difficult to adjust with the timings adopted in other districts.
Districts Working hours 8.00 am to 5.00 pm 8.30 am to 5.00 pm 8.00 am to 4.30 pm 8.30 am to 4.30 pm 8.00 am to 4.00 pm 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Total Table 5.13: Working hours Number of Respondents Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha 109 134 151 155 (77.8) (83.8) (94.4) (96.9) 14 (10.0) 17 (12.1) 140 (100) 1 (0.6) 20 (12.5) 4 (2.5) 1 (0.6) 160 (100) 3 (1.9) 1 (0.6) 5 (3.1) 160 (100) 1 (0.6) 4 (2.5) 160 (100)

Total 549 (88.5) 18 (2.9) 2 (.3) 37 (6.0) 9 (1.5) 5 (0.8) 620 (100)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Facilities at the worksite Basic facilities are to be provided at the worksite. The facilities to be provided as per the Act include medical aid, drinking water, shed and crche if there are more than 5 children below the age of six years. The panchayats by and large have been able to provide facilities at the worksite. The facilities provided as reported by majority of the respondents include: drinking water (77.4%), first aid box (54%), shade (45%) and tools (32.4%). Crche facility was found to have been provided in a few worksites of Wayanad and Alapuzha. Extra facilities extended at the worksite, as reported by respondents include gloves (1%), tea and snacks (2.1%), and arrangement for supply of food at the worksite (2.9%) etc., particularly in Alapuzha district. (See Table 5.14).

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Table 5.14: Facilities available at the work site Districts Facilities at the worksite Drinking water Shed for dressing Toilet (temporary) First Aid box Tools Creche Gloves Tea and Snacks Food available at worksite No Facilities Palakkad N= 140 102 (72.9) 58 (41.4) 41 (29.3) 85 (60.7) 25 (17.9) Idukki N=160 111 (69.4) 53 (33.1) 19 (11.9) 61 (38.1) 90 (56.3) 1 (0.6) Wayanad N=160 143 (89.4) 90 (56.3) 16 (10.0) 112 (70.0) 29 (18.1) 3 (1.9) 5 (3.1) Alapuzha N=160 124 (77.5) 76 (47.5) 3 (1.9) 87 (54.2) 57 (35.6) 2 (1.3) 6 (3.8) 8 (5.0) 18 (11.3) 7 (4.4) Total N=620 480 (77.4) 277 (44.7) 79 (12.7) 355 (55.6) 201 (32.4) 5 (0.8) 6 (1.0) 14 (2.3) 18 (2.9) 49 (7.9)

29 10 3 (20.7) (6.3) (1.9) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage to number of the respondents

Regarding the adequacy of worksite facilities, a little less than twothirds of the respondents reported that facilities are not adequate. District-wise analysis shows that the worksite facilities were found to be lacking in Idukki as reported by majority of the respondents (72.5%) followed by Alapuzha (61.3%) and Palakakd (64.6%). (See Table 5.15)
Districts Response Adequate Not Adequate Total Table 5.15: Adequacy of the worksite facilities Number of Respondents Palakkad 50 (35.7) 90 (64.3) 140 (100) Idukki 44 (27.5) 116 (72.5) 160 (100) Wayanad 79 (49.4) 81 (50.6) 160 (100) Alapuzha 54 (33.8) 106 (66.3) 160 (100) Total 227 (36.6) 393 (63.4) 620 (100)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Of the 393 respondents who said that the facilities at the worksite are inadequate, majority of them reported that facilities such as shade for dressing and resting, tools, first aid box, toilet and drinking water should be

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made available. Around one-third of them reported that tea and snacks can be given at the worksite free of cost (See Table 5.16).
Table 5.16: Facilities required at the worksite Districts Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha Worksite N= 90 N=116 N=81 N=106 facilities required 15 28 9 8 Drinking water (16.7) (24.1) (11.1) (7.5) 44 70 24 34 Shed for dressing (48.9) (60.3) (29.6) (32.0) 24 52 27 35 Toilet (26.7) (48.2 ) (33.3) (33.0) 37 59 23 16 First Aid box (41.1) (50.9 ) (28.3) (15.1) 49 47 53 16 Tools (54.4) (40.5) (65.4) (15.1) 3 1 1 2 Creche (3.3) (1.9) (1.2) (1.9) 3 3 8 Gloves (3.3) (2.5) (7.5) 53 22 46 Tea and Snacks (45.7) (27.1) (43.4) 16 8 Vehicle (13.7) (9.8) 5 13 23 Food at the worksite (4.3) (16.0) (21.7) 1 23 Doctor/ nurse (1.2) (21.7) 5 Umbrella (4.7) 3 Shoes (2.8) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage to number of the respondents Total N=393 60 (15.3) 172 (43.8) 138 (35.1) 135 (34.4) 165 (41.9) 7 (1.8) 14 (3.6) 121 (30.8) 24 (6.1) 41 (10.4) 24 (6.1) 5 (1.3) 3 (0.8)

Tools NREGS as indicated earlier is labour intensive. Use of machinery is prohibited. As a vast majority of the participants are landless agriculture labourers, they may not possess the tools. Hence, it is essential that tools are made available at all the worksites by the panchayats for those who do not possess tools for work. Around two-fifth of the respondents reported that panchayats provided tools; around 22 per cent said they bought their own tools for work. One-third of them said tools were jointly arranged by workers, panchayat and Kudumbashree. District-wise analysis shows that the tools were mostly made available by the panchayats in Palakakd district and Kudumbashree is reported to have played a good role in providing tools in Alapuzha (See Table 5.17). It must be
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noted that 44 respondents were found to have hired tools for work; of whom majority (75%) are from Alapuzha.
Table 5.17: Who provided tools for the work in the worksite Districts Number of Respondents Who provided tools Panchayat Self Kudumbasree Self, Panchayat and Kudumbasree Total Palakkad 98 (70.0) 8 (5.7) 4 (2.86) 30 (21.4) 140 (100) Idukki 49 (30.6) 5 (3.1) 106 (66.2) 160 (100) Wayanad 45 (28.1) 45 (28.1) 1 (0.6) 69 (43.1) 160 (100) Alapuzha 56 (35.1) 78 (48.8) 23 (14.4) 3 (1.8) 160 (100) Total 248 (40.0) 136 (21.9) 28 (4.6) 208 (33.5) 620 (100)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Problems faced at the worksite Around 75 per cent of the respondents said that they did not face any problems at the worksite. The rest did face some problems. Two important problems faced at the worksite as reported are: i) tools are not good (67.7%); and ii) too heavy tools to work (25.3%). There are few location specific problems like snakebite at the worksites (8.9%) and difficulties in working continuously in water bodies (12.0%) (See Table 5.18) Women have reported certain specific problems during the focus group discussion. They are: i) they are not able to strictly follow the time schedule as they have responsibilities at home; ii) a few are not accustomed to hard physical work; iii) tools are not women friendly; iv) toilets are not made available at certain worksites; v) women above the age of 50 found it hard to put up with the work under NREGS; and vi) they have also come across with location specific problems. For instance, cleaning the weed-infested canals is an important item of the works undertaken in Alapuzha district. The women have to travel in boats to remove the weeds in the canals and load them in the boat and deposit them on the banks of the canal. The women could not balance themselves in the boat while performing all these activities.

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Table 5.18: Problems faced at the worksite Districts Worksite problems No need based work Using pickaxe/ lifting heavy stone (for women) Lack of good tools/ Tools are not good Hot weather condition Non availability of First Aid facility Lack of co-operation from the land owners (road work) Over work load Injuries Difficult in working continuously in water bodies Snakes at the worksite Scarcity of boat Palakkad (N= 40) 2 (5.0) 9 (22.5) 40 (100) 12 (30.0) 1 (2.5) Idukki (N=30) 1 (3.3) 12 (40.0) 10 (33.3) 1 (1.3) 1 (1.3) 6 (20.0) 1 (1.3) Wayanad (N=33) 3 (9.1) 8 (24.2) 28 (84.8) 2 (6.0) 2 (6.0) Alapuzha (N=55) 11 (20.0) 29 (52.7) 2 (3.6) 2 (3.6) 1 (1.8) 4 (7.3) 19 (34.5) 14 (25.5) 2 (3.6) Total (N=158) 6 (3.8) 40 (25.3) 107 (67.7) 17 (10.8) 2 (1.3) 8 (5.0 ) 2 (1.3) 6 (3.8) 19 (12.0) 14 (8.9) 2 (1.3)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage to number of the respondents

Payment of Wages Payment of wage is a very significant component under the scheme. The Act has specifically stated that i) every worker under the scheme is entitled to minimum wage as fixed by the state government; ii) equal wages should be paid to men and women; iii) wage should be paid on a weekly basis either through bank or post office; and iv) wage rate should be published permanently at every worksite. These conditions are stipulated to ensure transparency, accountability and corruption free system. Field observations revealed that muster rolls received from the panchayat office are maintained at the worksite. The muster rolls provide details on the job card number, the number of workers and the days worked. The mates maintain the muster rolls. The mates are mostly women drawn from Kudumbashree. They are selected through a participatory process. They are trained well. The interaction with them revealed that they are all aware of

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the salient features of the NREGA, entitlements of the NREGA workers, worksite facilities to be provided and transparency safeguards to be adopted at the worksite. They are trained in the maintenance of muster rolls and measurement of work. Field observations in the worksites have clearly indicated that the mates have performed duties such as mobilizing the workforce, marking the worksite, allotting the works, maintaining the muster rolls, ensuring the provision of worksite facilities, ensuring the quality of work executed, general worksite supervision, dealing with emergencies, helping the overseer/engineers etc. to the utmost satisfaction of the various stakeholders of the scheme. Wages are paid after measuring the work. Overseer/engineer measures the quantity of work before and after the execution of the work. They visit the worksites and measure the work usually after the completion of the muster rolls. They do visit the worksites in between and give necessary instructions at the worksite. The wages are distributed through the bank/post office after the measurements are made. Awareness about minimum wages 98.4 per cent of the respondents were aware of the minimum wage fixed by the state government. All the respondents in Wayanad and Alapuzha were aware of the minimum wage; a few respondents in Palakkad (9.3%) and Idukki (2.5%) were not aware of the minimum wages. The respondents were also aware of the mode of fixation of wage under the scheme. A high level of awareness on the various aspects of the scheme including the fixation of wages can be attributed to the involvement of Kudumbashree units from the beginning of the scheme and high literacy rate among the participants. Wages earned under the scheme The minimum wage earned under the scheme as reported by majority of the respondents (86.3%) is Rs.125/-. Around 19 per cent of them said it varied from Rs.100 to 124/-. District wise analysis shows that the minimum wage earned was lower in Palakkad District when compared to other districts (See Table 5.19).
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Districts Minimum wage earned under the scheme <100 100-124 >125 Total Average

Table 5.19: Wages earned under the scheme Number of Respondents Palakkad 22 (15.7) 55 (39.3) 63 (45.0) 140 (100) 106.04 Idukki Wayanad 4 (2.5) 4 (2.5) 152 (95.0) 160 (100) 123.55 Alapuzha 2 (1.3) 4 (2.5) 154 (96.3) 160 (100) 123.88 Total 28 (4.5) 88 (14.2) 504 (81.3) 620 (100) 119.59

25 (15.6) 135 (84.4) 160 (100) 123.35

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

The maximum wage under the scheme as reported by the respondents indicates that 99.4 per cent of them could get a wage of Rs.125 per day which indicates that they are all assured of minimum wages prescribed by the state government. (See Table 5.20)
Table 5.20: Maximum wage earned under the scheme Districts Number of Respondents Maximum wage earned under the scheme < 124 125 > 126 Total Palakkad 3 (2.1) 136 (97.1) 1 (0.7) 140 (100) Idukki 160 (100) 160 (100) Wayanad 160 (100) 160 (100) Alapuzha 160 (100) 160 (100) 124.99 Total 3 (0.5) 616 (99.4) 1 (0.2) 620 (100) 123.51

Average minimum wage 121.4 124.18 123.44 earned Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Mode of payment of wage Wages were paid either thro bank or thro post offices to prevent corruption. 89.8 per cent of the respondents reported that they got wages through the bank. Rest of them got the wages through post offices. Payment of wage through post office was practised in Alapuzha District (See Table 5.21)

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Districts Mode Through Bank Through Post Office Total

Table 5.21: Mode of payment of wage Number of Respondents Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha 140 (100) 140 (100) 160 (100) 160 (100) 160 (100) 160 (100) 96 (60.0) 64 (40.0) 160 (100)

Total 556 (89.6) 64 (10.3) 620 (100)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Around 95 per cent of the respondents reported that they did not face any problem in withdrawing the cash form the bank. Rest did face problems which were mostly related to initial reluctance on the part of the bank officials to entertain NREGA accounts. Time lag between date of completion of work and payment of wage The wages should be paid on a weekly basis, and in many cases within a fortnight of the date on which the work was done. Around 62 per cent of the respondents reported that the wages were paid within a period of 15 days. It took 16-30 days to get wage in the case of around one-fourth of the respondents. A few respondents could get wage after a period of 60 days only. District-wise analysis shows that around one-third of the respondents, in Palakkad was able to get the wage after a period of one month. There were incidents of delay beyond one month in other districts too. The average time lag between date of completion of work and receipt of wage shows that Wayanad has the lowest time lag of 12.57 days, followed by Alapuzha with 20.86 days. The average days for all the districts is 22.68 days (See Table 5.22). Important reasons for the delay in payment of wages as reported by the respondents and as learnt during the focus group discussions were; i) lack of staff; ii) delay in providing muster rolls; iii) delay in measurement; iv) lack of adequate monitoring by the Panchayat; and v) delay on the part of the bank.

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Table 5.22: Time lag between date of completion of work and receipt of wages Districts Number of Respondents Time lag in days < 15 16-30 31-45 46-60 > 60 Total Average Palakkad 20 (14.3) 67 (47.9) 8 (5.7) 34 (24.3) 11 (7.9) 140 (100) 40.13 Idukki 115 (71.9) 26 (16.3) 6 (3.8) 13 (8.1) 160 (100) 23.21 Wayanad 140 (87.6) 16 (10.0) 4 (2.5) 160 (100) 12.57 Alapuzha 107 (66.9) 36 (22.5) 8 (5.0) 7 (4.4) 2 (1.3) 160 (100) 20.86 Total 382 (61.6) 145 (23.4) 26 (4.2) 54 (8.7) 13 (2.1) 620 (100) 22.68

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

All the respondents reported that they were able to get full wages as per the muster rolls. They were all fully paid and there has been no incidence of non-payment or under payment. NREGA wage and market wage A comparison between NREGA wage and wage prevailing in the market has revealed that NREGA wages were much lower than the prevailing wage rates in the case of men. The average difference for all the districts put together worked out Rs.74/-. In other words, the wages for men was around Rs.200/- in the market, whereas it was Rs.125/- under NREGS. The difference was quite high in Alapuzha district, where men were able to get double the NREGA wage in the market. However, the NREGA wages are better than what it generally prevails for the women in all the four districts. The difference was as high as Rs.38 in Palakkad District, whereas NREGA wage was closer to market wage in Idukki and Alapuzha districts (See Table 5.23).

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Table 5.23: Difference between wages under NREGS and the prevailing wages for other than NREGS work Districts Number of Respondents Average wage in Rs. NREGS Men Normal Difference NREGS Women Normal Difference Palakkad 125.25 163.21 - 37.96 124.54 86.69 +37.85 Idukki 125 197.41 - 72.41 125 123.75 +1.25 Wayanad 125 170.56 -45.56 124.09 110.88 +13.21 Alapuzha 125 259.69 -134.69 125 118.38 +6.62 Total 125.06 198.83 -73.77 124.66 110.67 +13.99

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey

Impact NREGS has been in operation for the last four years. In Kerala the scheme was introduced only in two districts viz., Wayanad and Palakkad in 2005-06 under Phase I. The scheme was extended in two more districts in 2006-07 under Phase II and subsequently in all the remaining 10 districts under Phase III. The complete effects or impact of the scheme cannot be gauged as the scheme is yet to fully take off with all its essential components. However, this scheme generated certain immediate effects such as increase in income, changes in the expenditure pattern, improvement in level of living, purchase of assets etc. (See Box 5.2). We have attempted to assess the impact as perceived by the respondents of the study. The variables considered are: income, expenditure, savings, livestock, empowerment of women, migration and benefits to households and panchayats. On Income: One of the major purposes of the NREGS is to increase the family income of the poor households in the rural areas. It is the direct benefit expected of the NREGS. After the implementation of the scheme the average family income in these districts is found to have increased by a minimum of Rs. 1479/- in Palakkad to Rs.2601/- in Idukki District. In other two districts viz., Wayanad and Alapuzha the average increase in the family income was Rs.1856/- and Rs.2093/- respectively.

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Box 5.2: The multiplier effects of NREGA Parijan, a member of the traditional orthodox Muslim family is around 40 years of age. She was married to Abdul Rehman in 1987 when she was 18 years old. Life was quite happier until her husband met with an accident and got paralyzed in1991. There was nobody to support her at times of distress and she had to work as a servant maid and agricultural laborer to run her family. She has two daughters and the family lives in a hut. Parijan came to know about NREGA only in 2007 even though it was introduced in the year 2006. She registered and started working under the scheme. She worked for 23 days in 2007 08 and 50 days in 2008 09. She has already completed 38 days of work for the current year and she hopes to hit the guaranteed 100 days before the end of the financial year. The wages she earned during the initial period was mainly spent on consumption expenditure. Later she could save some money and with that she started a canteen within the premises of panchayat. The canteen is run well and yields profit. She has now enough revenue to run the family. Her aim is to see that her daughters are got married and settled. She feels that NREGA has not only helped her to earn wages, but also enabled her to start a micro-enterprise which has now become an important source of livelihood.

Table 5.24: Impact of NREGS on the family income Districts Number of Respondents Increase in income in Rs. No change < 2500 2500-5000 > 5000 Total Average Palakkad 65 (46.4) 47 (33.6) 20 (14.3) 8 (5.7) 140 (100) 1479 Idduki 19 (11.9) 93 (58.1) 26 (16.3) 22 (13.8) 160 (100) 2601 Wayanad 23 (14.4) 111 (69.4) 16 (10.0) 10 (6.3) 160 (100) 1856 Alapuzha 9 (5.6) 112 (70.0) 23 (14.4) 16 (10.0) 160 (100) 2093 Total 116 (18.7) 363 (58.5) 85 (13.7) 56 (9.0) 620 (100) 2024

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

District wise analysis shows that there has been a substantial change in the family income on account of the NREGS in all the districts except the Palakkad District. In Palakkad about 46 per cent of the people opined that the scheme has hardly brought changes in the family income. Even among those who reported change in the family income about 33.6 per cent reported that only a marginal change is realized (Rs. >2500 per annum). The remaining 20 percent reported an increase of more than Rs.2500/- in their family income. But in other three districts, about 85 to 95 per cent of the people reported to
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have seen substantial increase in their family income. However, such increase in the family income was less than Rs.2500/- in majority of the cases. Those who reported to have marginal income of more than Rs.2500/constituted about one-fourth of the total respondents from these districts. Thus, the change in the average family income in all these districts was moderate. . On Expenditure: Increase in family income should have resulted in more family expenditure. The details on the family expenditure collected from the respondents showed that about 40 per cent of them did not see any change in the family expenditure whereas, about 47.3 per cent reported to have spent more than what they were spending earlier to this intervention. The change in the family expenditure ranged between less than Rs.2500/- and more than Rs.5000/-. However, people who spend more than Rs.2500/- accounted for 12.8 percent in all the four districts.

Districts

Table 5.25: Impact of NREGS on the expenditure Number of Respondents Palakkad 84 (60.0) 43 (30.7) 12 (8.6) 1 (0.7) 140 (100) 763.21 Idduki 36 (22.5) 79 (49.4) 28 (17.5) 17 (10.6) 160 (100) 2368.75 Wayanad 60 (37.5) 97 (60.6) 3 (1.9) 160 (100) 542.34 Alapuzha 68 (42.5) 74 (46.3) 12 (7.5) 6 (3.8) 160 (100) 963.38 Total 248 (40.0) 293 (47.3) 55 (8.9) 24 (3.9) 620 (100) 1172.20

The impact of NREGS on the expenditure in Rs. No change < 2500 2500-5000 > 5000 Total Average

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

District wise analysis of the family expenditure revealed that there was not much change in Palakkad District, where about 60 per cent reported no change. While in Idukki district it was only 22.5 per cent who reported no change in the average family expenditure. In other two districts viz., Wayanad and Alapuzha the number of respondents who reported no change was around 40 per cent. Thus, in Idukki District change was noticed in the family
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expenditure to a great extent while in Palakkad district people did not spend more on family expenses. There have been obvious changes in the family expenses after the implementation of the scheme. Majority stated that their family expenses too increased in proportion to the increase in family income. Only in Idukki district more than one fourth of the respondents reported increase in the family expenditure by more than Rs.2500/-. Thus, with the introduction of the scheme the family expenditure and purchasing capacity of rural households have improved in all the four districts. A look at the spending pattern of the income earned by the respondents from the NREGS reveals that they use it for a variety of purposes. The items of expenses include expenses on household activities, buying of food grains, meeting day-to-day expenses, spending on education of the children, hospital expenses repayment of old debts, construction of house and buying durable assets.
Table 5.26: Spending pattern of the wages earned under NREGS Districts Palakkad Idduki Wayanad Alapuzha Particulars (N=140) (N=160) (N=160) (N=160) 76 58 73 90 Household activities (54.3) (36.3) (45.6) (56.3) 39 60 58 51 Education (27.9) (37.5) (36.3)) (31.9 ) 14 11 14 10 Buying assets ( 10.0) (6.9) ) (8.8) ( 6.3) 27 61 46 54 Buying food grains ( 19.3)) (38.1) (28.8) ( 33.8) 17 50 52 21 Hospital expenses (12.1 ) (31.3) ) (32.5) ( 13.1) 42 11 21 8 Payment of old debts (30.0 ) (6.9 ) ( 13.1) (5.0 ) 4 2 7 6 Celebrations (2.9) ( 1.3 ) (4.3 ) ( 3.8) 2 Agricultural activities (1.4)) 3 20 4 Buying clothes (2.1) (12.5) (2.5) 5 2 2 Day-to-day expenses (3.1) (1.2) (1.3) 2 3 10 Construction of house (1.3) (1.9) (6.3) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figure in the parenthesis represents the percentage to the Total Respondents Total (N=620) 297 (47.9) 208 (33.5) 49 ( 7.9) 188 (30.3) 140 (22.6) 82 (13.2) 24 (3.9) 2 (0.3) 27 (4.4) 9 (1.5) 15 (2.4)

From the overall analysis it is found that the income is spent by a sizeable number of respondents for meeting the household expenses.

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(47.9%), expenses on education of the children (33.5%) buying food grains (30.3%) and for meeting medical expenses (22.6 %). The other expenses met out of the additional income include repayment of old debts (13.2%) buying of assets (7.9%) buying clothes (4.4%) celebrations (3.9%) construction of house (2.4%) (See Box 5.3 and 5.4) and other day- to-day expenses (1.5%). People opined that the introduction of the scheme improved the debt-servicing capacity of the poor households and also helped in reducing the liabilities. It can be concluded that the households spend the income mainly on household expenses and on education and clothing of the children. The spending pattern of the people from different districts hardly shows any differences except redemption of prior debts (30%) in Palakkad District.

Box 5.3: Age Has Not Withered Away the Spirit to Work O. Kunjamma (72 years) is a senior citizen of Nedumudi Panchayat of Alappey district. He has seven children; all of them happily settled. He lives with his youngest son. He is an active member of CPI (M). NREGS was introduced in the panchayat in 2009. Planning to do something productive, he joined NREGS. The work taken up in his ward under the scheme was removal of weeds from the Bhoothapandam lake. He actively participated in the work. He said he was quite happy because i) he could earn at this stage ii) could do some useful work in the village and iii) he could spend the wages earned for a productive purpose viz., construction of a house for his son.

Box 5.4: NREGS enabled to come out of the vicious cycle of poverty The case of two sisters Karthiyani and Vasanthi are two sisters born and brought up in Nandiyodu, a hamlet th (9 ward in Pattancherry) of Chittor block. They are the daughters of Kombi and Devu who belongs to ST. They had an elder brother supporting them. He became chronically ill and died. The entire family fell into the vicious cycle of poverty. It is at this juncture they came to know about NREGS through Kudumbashri. Both of them registered themselves under the scheme. They were active participants of NREGS. After 2 years of work, they had a bank balance of Rs. 20000/- (Canara bank, Meenakshipuram). They were mostly idle without much work before the launch of NREGA. NREGS provides assured work with a minimum wage of Rs. 125/- per day. They have plans to construct a new house through IAY (Indira Awas Yojana) with an additional contribution from their own savings.

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Table 5.27: Impact of the NEREGS on the Saving (Per annum) Districts Number of Respondents The impact of the NEREGS on the Saving in Rs. No Saving < 1250 1250-2500 > 2500 Total Average savings Palakkad 84 (60.0) 37 (26.4) 9 (6.4) 10 (7.1) 140 (100) 754.07 Idduki 100 (62.5) 54 (33.8) 2 (1.3) 4 (2.5) 160 (100) 236.56 Wayanad 91 (56.9) 43 (26.9) 9 (5.6) 17 (10.6) 160 (100) 715.97 Alapuzha 69 (43.1) 69 (43.1) 19 (11.9) 3 (1.9) 160 (100) 567.98 Total 344 (55.5) 203 (32.7) 39 (6.3) 34 (5.5) 620 (100) 562.66

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

On Savings: The household savings is a function of the household income and expenditure. In all the four districts increase in the family income was reported to be moderate. The moderate income so earned on account of the scheme was reported to have been spent by the families for meeting their family expenses. As such, the extent of savings at the household level would also be marginal if at all the families have propensity to save. The average savings as reported by the respondents ranged from Rs. 236/- (in Idukki district) to Rs.754/- in Palakkad district, while the overall average savings was Rs.562/- . It is seen from the table that only 45 per cent of the households have savings. 32 percent of the household save upto Rs.1250/- The rest constituting about 12 per cent have savings ranging from Rs.1250 to Rs.2500. District-wise analysis reveals that that there was no savings as reported by majority of the respondents. They constituted 60 per cent in Palakkad, 62.5 percent in Idukki, 56.9 per cent in Wayanad and 43.1 per cent in Alapuzha. Thus, Alapuzha district has shown better results in this respect, where majority has reported to have savings ranging from Rs. 1250 to Rs. 2500. In Idukki, people reported that the habit of saving has been picking-up even among the weaker sections of the community. It should, however, be noted that the extent of savings was less than Rs.1250 in majority of the households in all the districts.
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Districts Livestock No change She buffalo Cow Goat Poultry Total

Table 5.28: Impact of NREGS on livestock Number of Respondents Palakkad Idduki Wayanad Alapuzha 128 156 152 133 (91.4) (97.5) (95.0) (83.1) 1 (0.6) 2 7 7 (1.4) (4.4) (4.4) 5 2 15 (3.6) (1.3) (9.4) 5 2 5 (3.6) (1.3) (3.1) 140 160 160 160 (100) (100) (100) (100)

Total 569 (91.8) 1 (0.2) 16 (2.6) 22 (3.5) 12 (1.9) 620 (100)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

On Livestock: There has been increase in the livestock population after the implementation period in all the four districts. In Alapuzha District 16.9 per cent reported an increase in the livestock population especially cow, goat and poultry. 97.5 percent of the respondents in Idukki reported that there was not much change in the livestock population. Similar is the case with Wayanad where 95 per cent reported no change in the livestock. In the case of Palakkad District about 8.6 per cent expressed that there is an increase in the livestock particularly the number of cows, goats and poultry birds. Thus, the NREGS is found to have enabled a few households to buy livestock and adopt it as the secondary occupation for improving their economic condition. It is understood from the FGD that livelihood opportunities have increased after the introduction of the scheme. Some of them bought goat out of their wages. This scheme is specially benefiting the senior citizens, who didnt have any other choice to lead their life. On Empowerment of women: The scheme has its focus on poor and marginalized sections of the community. It has sought to do away with discriminating practices in payment of wages to women. The Act has categorically offered equal wages to men and women. Further, the Act emphasized the role of women in the scheme. Field evidences do indicate that participation of women in the scheme is quite high in states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu when compared to other states.

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High participation of women is likely to empower them socially, economically and politically. 60 percent of the respondents reported that the women are socially empowered. They work as group in NREGA resulting in close relationship and connectivity with panchayats and government officials. They state earning enhances their status in the family. They also participate in Grama Sabha meetings and meeting of the Social Audit Committee which earns a status for them in the community. Women are consulted in meetings. All these give them a sort of social empowerment. 41.4 percent of the respondents said that the women are economically empowered for obvious reasons. First, they outnumber the men at the worksite but earning equal wages. Second, they supplement and complement the income earned by the male members in the household. Third, the income earned under the scheme especially for the women headed households offer economic independence. Fourth, women enjoy freedom in spending the money they earned. Few respondents reported that the women are politically empowered as they participate in decision making process under the scheme. (See Table 5.29). District-wise analysis shows that social empowerment was found to be high in Alapuzha as reported by majority of the respondents (74%) followed by Idukki with two-thirds of the respondents reporting. Majority of the respondents in Wayanad (60%) reported economic empowerment followed by Idukki with 44 percent.
Table 5.29: Impact of the NREGS on women empowerment Districts Number of Respondents Women Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha Empowerment N= 140 N=160 N=160 N=160 58 36 55 26 No change (41.4) (22.5) (34.3) (16.2) 64 106 86 118 Socially (45.7) (66.2) (53.8) (73.8) 38 70 96 53 Economically (27.1) (43.7) (60.0) (33.1) 1 5 11 2 Politically (0.7) (3.1) (6.9) (1.2) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figure in the parenthesis represents the percentage to the Total Respondents

Total N+620 175 (28.2) 374 (60.3) 257 (41.4) 19 (3.0

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Table 5.30: Migration to other areas in search of job before the introduction of the NREGS Number of Respondents Districts Palakkad Idduki Wayanad Alapuzha Response 109 155 155 154 Not migrated (77.8) (96.9) (96.9) (96.3) 31 5 5 6 Migrated (22.1) (3.1) (3.1) (3.8) 140 160 160 160 Total (100) (100) (100) (100) Place of Migration 15 3 4 2 Within in the District (48.4) (60.0) (80.0) (33.3) 8 1 2 Within the state (25.7) (20.0) (33.3) 8 1 1 2 Outside the State (12.9) (20.0) (20.00) (33.3) 31 5 5 6 Total (100) (100) (100) (100) Duration of the migration 20 1 1 Below 2 months (64.5) (20.0) (20.0) 2 2 2 2 to 4 months (6.5) (40.0) (33.3) 6 1 1 4 to 6 months (19.4) (20.0) (16.7) 2 3 1 6 to 12 months (6.5) (60.0) (20.0) 1 1 3 above 12 months (3.2) (20.0) (50.0) 31 5 5 6 Total (100) (100) (100) (100) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Total 573 (92.4) 47 (7.6) 620 (100) 24 (51.1) 11 (23.4) 12 (25.53) 47 (100) 22 (46.8) 6 (12.8) 8 (17.0) 6 (12.8) 5 (10.6) 47 (100)

On migration: People of Kerala freely migrate to other states seeking employment opportunities. Both educated and illiterate do so, if necessary. Those who are qualified to work in organized sectors move to other countries of the world. Whereas, those who are not lettered or who do not have necessary qualification for getting a job in the organized sector normally move to nearby places especially during the lean season. Table 5.30 shows that only 7.6 percent of the total respondents reported to have migrated in search of employment. The prevalence of migration was more in Palakkad district than other districts. In Palakkad about 22 per cent of the respondents reported migration for employment while, in other districts this remained around three to four percent. Thus, except Palakkad district the extent of migration was found to be meager.

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Among those who have migrated, a vast majority had reported that they migrated within the district (51.1%) and within the state (23.4%). The rest who constituted 25.53 per cent reported to have migrated to other states. Intra-district migration is found to be prevalent more in Wayanad (80%) followed by Idukki (60%) and Palakkad (48.4%). In the case of Alapuzha, an equal number of respondents (33.33%) reported prevalence of intra district, inter district and inter state migration. (See Table 5.31) In terms of periodicity of migration, around half of the total respondents who reported to have migrated stated that they migrated for a period of less than two months; 30 percent of the respondents migrated for a period of 2 to 4 months; the rest for a period ranging from six months to one year (12.8%) and more than one year (10.6%). It can, therefore, be noted that there is no uniform pattern among these districts in regard to the periodicity of migration.
Table 5.31: The level and intensity of migration after the introduction of NREGS Districts Number of Respondents The level and intensity of migration after the introduction of NREGA No change Decreased Increased Men migrated for better wage Total

Palakkad

Idduki

Wayanad

Alapuzha

Total

105 (75.0) 24 (17.1) 10 (7.1) 1 (0.7) 140 (100)

92 (57.5) 68 (42.5) 160 (100)

132 (82.5) 26 (16.3) 2 (1.3) 160 (100)

148 (92.5) 10 (6.3) 1 (0.6) 1 (0.6) 160 (100)

477 (76.9) 128 (20.6) 13 (2.1) 2 (0.3) 620 (100)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

The details on the level and intensity of migration after introduction of NREGS as reported by the respondents are presented in Table 5.31. About 77 percent of the respondents stated that there was no change in the level of migration, while 20.6 per cent reported decrease in the level and intensity of migration which the respondents attributed to the implementation of the scheme. Even through the rate of migration has come down after the implementation of the scheme, migration of men, especially those below the
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age of 35 remained unchanged as the young men with reasonable level of secondary and higher secondary school education feel inferior in working under these kinds of programmes which involve manual/physical work. Such migration was due to the educated men seeking better employment avenue elsewhere. The extent of decrease in the migration was reported more in Idukki district (42.5%) followed by Palakkad (17.1 %) and Wayanad (16.3 %). However, in Palakkad district about 10 per cent of the respondents reported increase in the level of migration even after the NREGS intervention. This trend in Palakkad district is attributed to the fact that men in these villages of Palakkad district move to nearby cities of Tamil Nadu for better paid jobs. Benefits of NREGS
Table 5.32: Benefits of NREGS to HH Number of Respondents Palakkad Idduki Wayanad Alapuzha Benefits N=140 N=160 N=160 N=160 38 3 7 18 Guaranteed employment (27.1) (1.9) 4.3) (11.2) Paying of childrens 15 25 19 13 education fee (10.7) (15.6) (11.9) (8.1) 10 29 16 22 Hospital expense (7.1) (15.6) (10.0) (13.8) 17 13 16 12 Increase in family status (12.1) (18.1) (10.0 ) (7.5) 5 10 7 6 House maintenance (3.6) (6.2) (4.3) (3.8) 39 58 28 27 Household expenses (27.9) (36.2) (17.5 (16.9) 7 26 18 20 Payment of debts (5.0) (16.2) (11.2) (12.5) 13 5 14 21 Family savings increased (9.2) (3.1) (8.8) (13.1) 14 6 2 Women have cash in hand (10.0) (3.8) (1.3) 2 3 4 Purchased assets (1.4) (1.9) (2.5) 32 58 54 Family income increased (20.0) (36.2) (33.8) 3 16 Poverty reduced (1.9) (10.0) 11 4 8 3 No change (7.9) (2.5) (5.0) (1.9) Districts Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figure in the parenthesis represents the percentage to the Total Respondents

Total N= 620 66 (10.6) 72 (11.6) 77 (12.4) 58 (9.4) 28 (4.5) 152 (24.5 ) 71 (11.4) 53 (8.5) 22 (3.5) 9 (1.4) 144 (23.2) 19 (3.06) 26 (4.1)

The NREGS has brought in several benefits to rural households. The major benefits as listed by the respondents, include: guaranteed employment; sufficient income for meeting expenses on education, healthcare and

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household expenses; improved family income leading to improvement in the status of the family; house maintenance, repayment of debts, purchase of assets etc. (See Box 5.5). Except a small percentage of (4.1) respondents, everyone expressed that the additional income from NREGA helped them in several ways. They stated that the additional and guaranteed income from NREGA was very much useful in meeting the household expenses to a great extent. The increase in the expenses of the households was obviously made possible through implementation of NREGA.
Box 5.5: NREGA assures stable income: The case of Subadra Subadra aged 57 is a resident of Vadakarappathy Panchayat of Chittoor block in Palakkad district. Her husband was an agricultural labourer. He could not continue to work as he is ageing. Hence he looks after his small farm of 1 acre. The couple has a son, who is working as a driver and a daughter. Subadra was also working as an agricultural labourer before the advent of NREGA in her area. She came to know of NREGA when the panchayat initiated some start-up activities to generate awareness among the people about the scheme. She and her daughter-in-law registered themselves under the scheme. They were not aware of the provisions of the scheme. However, in course of time, they came to know more about the scheme because of the efforts taken by the panchayat. They said that they could perceive the opportunities available in the scheme and decided to make use of the scheme to the maximum extent possible. Both of them worked for 80 days at the rate of 40 days each in 2006-07. In the subsequent two years, they fully made use of the guaranteed days of employment. For the current year they have already worked for 30 days and they were sure of hitting the maximum of 100 days. Subadra and her daughter-in-law were quite satisfied with the scheme. The major benefits for them from the scheme are: i) secured livelihood opportunity for a period of 100 days; ii) better wages; iii) improved income which enabled them to buy income generating assets like cow and consumer durable asset like TV; and iv) redemption of prior debts. They said that they did not have any problem in registration, getting employment and wages. They were quite satisfied with the way in which the scheme is implemented in their panchayat.

From the overall responses of the people, it is understood, that it increased the family income (23.2%) and improved the households expenses (24.5%). Other benefits as reported by the people are guaranteed employment (10.6%), money for meeting educational expenses (11.6%), hospital expenses (12.4%) and improve the capacity to service the old debts (11.4%). Increase in the family economic status is another important benefit realized on account of the NREGA intervention. District wise analysis reveals more or less similar pattern of responses. People expressed that the scheme helped them in getting 100 days of assured employment and a minimum
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annual wage of Rs.12,500/- per family. This guarantee was not there earlier and it relieved them from the problem of searching for wage-labour during the off-season.
Table 5.33: Benefits of the NREGS for the Panchayat Districts Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha Benefits N= 140 N=160 N=160 N=160 24 96 114 69 Road maintained (17.1) (60.0) (71.62) (43.1) Land leveled/ 2 3 47 12 developed (1.4) (1.8) (29.3) (7.5) 7 1 5 Elephant trench created (5.0) (0.58) (3.1) Canal/ Channel 23 5 31 65 Renovated (16.4) (3.1) (19.3) (40.6) 4 3 12 17 Well Renovated (2.8) (1.8) (7.5) (10.6) 29 1 28 11 Pond Renovated (20.2) (0.6) (17.5) (6.8) 9 15 10 Pond Created (6.2) (9.3) (6.2) 19 3 Check dam Created (13.2) (1.8) 1 3 1 9 Trees Planted (0.7) (1.8) (0.6) (5.6) 9 7 6 4 Rain water Harvested (6.2) (4.3) (3.8) (2.5) Retaining Wall 11 1 3 1 Constructed (7.7) (0.6) (1.9) (0.6) Improved water 5 3 15 4 resources (3.5) (1.8) (9.3) (2.5) More people get 26 8 35 employed (16.2) (9.3) (21.8) Increase in the social 10 7 3 participation of (6.2) (4.3) (1.8) backward community Senior citizen's are 9 1 employed in the work (5.6) (0.6) Panchayat funds are 1 1 saved (0.6) (0.6) Better yield for land 3 11 13 owners (1.8) (6.9) (8.1) 2 3 New road created (1.2) (1.8) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figure in the parenthesis represents the percentage to the Total Respondents Total N=620 303 (48.8) 64 (7.26) 13 (2.0) 124 (20.0) 36 (5.8) 69 (11.1) 34 (5.4) 22 (3.5) 14 (2.2) 26 (4.1) 16 (2.5) 27 (4.3) 69 (11.1) 20 (3.2) 10 (1.6) 2 (0.3) 27 (4.3) 5 (0.8)

The immediate concern of the scheme is to guarantee employment and certain level of income. The scheme has also kept in view sustainability of income by insisting on such works that would have spin off effects. For instance, works related to water and soil conservation are likely to result in intensification of agriculture which in turn would lead to improved employment opportunities in the long run. (See Box 5.6). It would also result in
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maintenance of community assets in a state of efficiency. The panchayats and the people therefore, gain from the scheme.
Box 5.6: Regenerating agriculture through NREGA Vadakarapatty Grama Panchayath in Chittoor block of Palakkad district with a geographical area of 5480 ha. is a rain-shadow region. The major sources of livelihood for the households in the panchayat are agriculture and animal husbandry. The households in this region did not face much problem as they had enough rain and ground water was available at the depth of 12 feet. This situation slowly deteriorated due to commercialization of agriculture, declining ground water and failure to network the existing water bodies. This situation further worsened due to continuous drought in the area from 1986 1996. Public had to stand in long queue to get even drinking water supplied through lorries. The situation improved with the implementation of the watershed programme in the region. The real turning point, however, in the opinion of the people is the launching of NREGA in the panchayat in 2005-06. The scheme with the focus on soil and water conservation helped in renovating many supply channels and the 12 ponds/tanks, which were in a bad shape for many years. The impact of the work executed is quite visible. Ground water level has increased; area under cultivation has gone up; cropping system has changed; employment in agriculture has slightly improved; people are quite conscious of importance of soil and water conservation. There is also marked improvement in the participation of people in Grama Sabha meeting and the people demand schemes and projects that would enhance their well being.

It is clear from the views of the majority of the respondents that the Panchayats made use of the scheme for maintenance of road and renovation of pond, rivers, canals and channels. The NREGA helped the Panchayats in maintaining the public assets which are useful to the society. District-wise analysis of the benefits accrued to the panchayats shows that benefits accrued differ from district to district. This is due to different geographic nature and the preference and priorities of the people in the Panchayat in the selection of works for implementation under the scheme.
Box 5.7: A pond in a private land for a common purpose Krishnasami, residing in Perumatty Panchayat of Chittoor block of Palakkad district, owns 30 cents of land. Karupathurankkadu, which is situated in a valley. The land could be converted into a water body. He agreed that the panchayat could make use of the land for developing a pond. The subject was discussed in the grama sabha meeting and it was decided to dig a pond. A group of 44 workers worked for three months and completed the work of digging a pond with a length of 60 feet and a width of 45 feet. Of the 44 workers, 40 were women and four were men. The total estimate was Rs. 5 lakhs; but the work was completed at a cost of 3.23 lakhs. The effect of the work was improved ground water in the surrounding areas which led to improved agricultural activities.

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Box 5.8: Prevention of men animal conflict Sholayur is a Panchayat in Attappady block of Palakkad district. This is a place where 3 rivers Kodakarapallon, Bhavani and Siruvani meet. The area is elephant frequented region. The elephant cross the rivers and cause damage to the crops cultivated and disturbed human population. The Grama Sabha decided that a trench from Thekkimukkiyoor to Koodapetty would help solve the problem. The total estimate was Rs. th th 9 lakhs. The work was commenced on 5 September 2007 and completed on 7 August 2009. The total person days spent on the work is 2000.

The works taken up by the panchayats under NREGS helped the Panchayat in several ways either directly or indirectly. The road works carried out enabled the pancayats creating good connectivity with neighbouring villages and urban centres. The land and water improvement activities were very useful to the panchayats in recharging the ground water which leads to improved irrigation facilities (See Box 5.7). The clearance of drainages helped easy flow of water and in draining the rainwater and maintaining overall sanitation in the villages.
Table 5.34: Changes that the Scheme has brought in the Panchayat Districts Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha Total N= 140 N=160 N=160 N=160 N=620 25 (17.9) 29 (20.7) 25 (17.8) 2 (1.4) 22 (15.7) 7 (5.0) 9 (6.4) 6 (4.2) 6 (4.2) 16 (11.4) 1 (0.7) 3 (1.9) 1 (0.6) 2 (1.2) 2 (1.2) 95 (59.3) 1 (0.6) 2 (1.2) 2 (1.2) 20 (12.5) 1 (0.6) 13 (8.1) 4 (2.5) 4 (2.5) 13 (8.1) 37 (23.1) 6 (3.7) 4 (2.5) 80 (50.0) 8 (5.0) 2 (1.2) 4 (2.5) 6 (3.7) 45 (28.1) 3 (1.9) 30 (18.7) 5 (3.1) 10 (6.2) 6 (3.7) 7 (4.3) 3 (1.9) 1 (0.6) 73 (45.6) 32 (20.0) 23 (14.3) 11 (6.9) 17 (10.6) 33 (20.6) 20 (12.5) 2 (1.2) 18 (11.2) 7 (4.3) 47 (7.5) 74 (11.9) 36 (5.8) 9 (1.4) 270 (43.5) 44 (7.0) 36 (5.8) 23 (3.7) 49 (7.9) 95 (15.3) 37 (5.9) 36 (5.8) 27 (4.3) 17 (2.7)

Changes

Soil erosion prevented Ground water level increased Community assets created Check dam constructed Good connectivity Drainage canal cleaned Easy flow of rain water People's contact increased with Panchayat Unemployment reduced Agriculture Improved Sanitation maintained Social awareness increased Women empowered Poverty reduced

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figure in the parenthesis represents the percentage to the Total Respondents

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This scheme by providing employment helped in reducing the magnitude of unemployment in these villages. These changes in the panchayats are not however uniform in the villages of different districts. We could notice differences in respect of each item among the districts. Change in Relationship Sharing of work with other members is supposed to improve the social relationship among the NREGS employees. 54.7 percent of the respondents reported that there is appreciable change in the relationship among the members involved in the NREGS works. The scheme has helped in bringing a sense of oneness among the community members. It has also created confidence among the people and willingness in them to take up any work for the welfare of the Panchayat as a whole. The district wise analysis reveals that NREGA has resulted improved relationship among the respondents in Wayanad and Alapuzha as reported by majority of the respondents. The improved relationship is a sign of emergence of social capital which could be meaningfully used for developing other forms of capital such as human capital, physical capital and financial capital.
Table 5.35: Change in the relationship among the Households after the introduction of NREGS Districts Number of Respondents Response Palakkad Idduki Wayanad Alapuzha No Change in 77 110 48 46 relationship (55.0) (68.8) (30.0) (28.8) Change in 63 50 112 114 relationship (45.0) (31.3) (70.0) (71.3) 140 160 160 160 Total (100) (100) (100) (100) Kind of Changes 14 33 73 72 Cooperation (10.0) (20.6) (45.6) (45.0) 11 9 15 16 Acceptance (7.8) (5.6) (9.3) (10.0) Sharing the 48 10 15 Households (34.2) (6.2) (9.3) Expenses Confidence in moving 17 17 with the people (10.6) (10.6) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Total 281 (45.3) 339 (54.7) 620 (100) 192 (30.9) 51 (8.2) 89 (14.4) 34 (5.4)

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Social Audit Social Audit is one of the salient features of NREGS. This is meant to ensure transparency and create a corruption-free atmosphere in the implementation of the programme. Social audit process along with appropriate use of Right to Information (RTI) Act is expected to uphold the rights of the citizenry in rural India. As per the guidelines of the NREGS each Panchayat needs to have a Social Audit Team, which should carry out the audit in order to verify if the programme is socially beneficial, corruption-free, and yields the results it is expected to produce amidst the rural community. The social audit teams in all the study districts have been formed based on the guidelines of the NREGS. It consisted of 12 members, which included ward members, workers in NREGS, representatives from SC/ST population, a representative from the neighbouring ward etc. It was found that Social Audit has been conducted in all the four districts under review viz., Palakkad, Idukki, Alapuzha, and Wayanad. In Idukki and Alapuzha districts the number of social audit conducted was found to be less, and upon probing, it was found that the programme got initiated in these two districts, only a little later than the other two districts (Palakkad and Wayanad) under study. The social audit team has pursued the records, in order to understand the works undertaken, estimation, spill over details, SC/ST participation, muster roll and job card related details. The social audit team interacts with beneficiaries of NREGS in person and crosscheck the details given in the muster roll such as attendance, wage received for each work etc. The teams also visited the worksites and monitored the work that are taken up and evaluated the works that are completed. They check whether the work done tallies with the works given in measurement book. The team verifies the vouchers and receipts if material component is used in the work. The team interacts with Panchayat functionaries to understand the problems faced, draw-backs if any they feel in the programme, and

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their suggestions for overcoming the hitches with policy guidelines or practical problems in implementation. The team, based on their observation, interaction and perusal of records, prepares the social audit report. The report is then submitted to authorities concerned and functionaries of the Panchayat for making necessary changes, observation and suggestions. The final social audit report after making necessary changes is presented in the Grama sabha. The report as approved by the Grama sabha is compiled and consolidated and submitted to the authorities concerned at the block and District levels. The report is submitted to the Block Office. However, no significant changes in the way the programme is implemented has been suggested in the social audit report. Grievance Redressal In a massive rural employment generation scheme like NREGS, grievances from some sections of the population or from workers themselves are possible. The NREGS guidelines provides for grievance redressal mechanism and a toll-free number to make complaints, in case the problems are not solved locally. It was found that in all the four study districts complaints have been raised. People have had complaints; and workers have had complaints as well. All these problems have been discussed, sorted out and settled either at the Panchayat level or through the intervention of the block level officials. No complaint has taken shape out of proportion to be able to handle beyond the block level. The toll-free number available for making complaints about mismanagement of the programme or individual grievances is not known to many of the respondents present in the FGDs. As a result, none of them could use the toll-free number meant for grievance redressal. Transparency and Accountability The response about transparency and accountability under NREGS in all the four districts under study is identical and unwavering. They reported that there is cent per cent transparency and accountability under the scheme

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because monitoring is done regularly by VMC, Social audit team, Overseer / AE, and the Panchayat officials. Difference between NREGS and SGRY How do people perceive the difference between NREGS and the earlier SGRY both aimed at employment generation at local level - but at different scales and with varying implications and methodologies? This is one of the vital points that required probing. The responses of the participants of the FGD has been consolidated and presented here (See Box 5.9).
Box 5.9: NREGA vs SGRY
NREGA This is an Act with a legal guarantee for employment, being given operational face through a scheme called NREGS. One gets 100 days of guaranteed employment in a year. It is possible everyone of the population, if they are willing can get benefited. Imperative it should be labour intensive No involvement of contractors Gram Sabha and Panchayat decide which works should be undertaken, and which one should be given priority. The Panchayat can decide to create sustainable community assets. People directly involved in planning as Gram Sabha is involved. 40% material cost; 60% labour cost Registration, ID, muster roll for making corruption-free administration. Bank transfer of wages considerably reduces leakage of the funds reaching the poor workers. Womens participation high Social Audit SGRY This is one of the schemes like any other scheme of the government. There is no legal guarantee about providing employment. The allocation might be sufficient to meet about 40% of the people, even if more people wanted. Emphasis is given to labour intensive work. Housing works under SGRY mostly given to contractors. The officials decide based on instructions and funds they received. Works taken as piece meal. Plan comes from the top. There is no specification about labour component. No muster roll. Payment made by cash, which gives room for misuse while distribution. Mens participation high. Official Audit

Relevance of the Scheme to the Panchayat In Palakkad, Idukki, and Wayanad districts the programme was reported to be very much beneficial to the Panchayat in general, and for the rural community who are dependent on wage employment in particular. However, it was reported from some regions of Alapuzha district (such as
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Kuttanad area) where the geographical condition was not conducive to take works under NREGS. They demand revision in the guidelines of NREGS in such a way that such regions, and people in such regions also benefit. Convergence of the Scheme In all the four districts under study, it was reported that convergence with schemes / works of other departments take place. No district reported of impossibility or difficulty in convergence. For example, (i) in Wayanad and Palakkad districts convergences have taken place with departmental activities of Irrigation, Agriculture, PWD (Highway), and Fisheries; (ii) in Alapuzha convergence has taken place with Forestry Department; (iii) in Idukki district convergences are reported of departments of Agriculture and Forestry. Roles of various functionaries associated with NREGS The successful implementation of the NREGS to great extent, depends on active role of various agencies associated with the scheme. We could identify the indispensable role of Grama Sabha, elected representatives Kudumbashree and officials in-charge of implementing NREGS. We would briefly state the role of each of the functionaries. i) Grama Sabha: Grama Sabha is an important stakeholder of the project. It recommends the works to be taken up under the project. It conducts social audit on the implementation of the scheme. In addition, Grama Sabha is used extensively as a forum for sharing information about the scheme. Hence, it is essential on the part of the functionaries of the panchayat to ensure the participation of the rural households in all the Grama Sabha meetings. The focus group discussion with the various stakeholders revealed that participation in Grama Sabha meeting has increased with the introduction of NREGS in the state. Survey findings reveal that around 93 per cent of the respondents reported to have participated in the Gram Sabha meeting convened specially to discuss the matters related to NREGS. District-wise analysis shows that the participation of members is quite high in Alapuzha with 98.1 percent of the respondents reported to have participated; followed by Wayanad with 96.3 per cent; Palakkad with 92.9 per cent; and Idukki (86.3%). (See Table 5.36)
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Table 5.36: Participation in Grama Sabha Meeting Districts Number of Respondents Response Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha 130 138 154 157 Participated (92.9) (86.3) (96.3) (98.1) 10 22 6 3 Not Participated (7.1) (13.8) (3.8) (1.9) 140 160 160 160 Total (100) (100) (100) (100) Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

Total 579 (93.4) 41 (6.6) 620 (100)

Mere attendance in such meeting does not result in better outcome. Participation needs to be active leading to better awareness on various issues discussed in such meeting. Of the 579 members who participated in the Grama Sabha meeting, 94 per cent of them were aware of the discussions on various matters related to the operation of NREGA in their Panchayats. The members who participated in the Gram Sabha meeting were found to have discussed various aspects/issues related to NREGS. Prominent among these aspects / issues include: Selection of worksite (44.5%), increase in wages (23.7%), on-going work (19.7%), work timing (13.4%), work demand (10.5%), facilities at the worksite (9.5%) and delay in payment (6.9%), (See Table 5.37). District wise analysis shows that the respondents are found to have discussed the rules and regulations of the scheme (Azhapuzha and Wayanad). It can be seen from the table that the Grama Sabha has served as a forum to discuss various issues related to the implementation of NREGA scheme. ii) Elected Representatives: One big way in which elected representatives involve themselves is monitoring the execution of the work. This scheme has made many ward members active because works are taken up in wards as well. People who questioned the Panchayat Presidents have now started questioning the ward members also, if a ward member was not active enough to suggest works in their respective wards under the scheme.

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Table 5.37: Matters Discussed on NREGS in Grama Sabha Districts Palakkad Idukki Wayanad Alapuzha Matters N= 140 N=160 N=160 N=160 discussed Selection of worksite Wage increment Ongoing Work Work timing Issue of Job Card Delay in Payment Medical assistance Worksite measurement Work demand Muster roll maintenance Problems of working with ADS/CDS/MATE Worksite Facilities Increase of Employment days in NREGS Monitoring of work Purchase of new tools Rules and regulations 67 (47.9) 15 (10.7) 37 ( 26.4) 3 (2.1) 21 (15.0) 6 (4.3) 10 ( 7.1 ) 1 (0.7) 3 ( 2.1) 12 ( 8.6) 10 (7.1) 2 ( 1.4) 55 (34.4) 70 (43.8) 31 (19.4) 16 (10.0 ) 1 (0.6) 7 (4.4) 1 (0.6) 6 (3.8) 11 (6.9) 2 (1.3) 19 (11.9) 6 (3.8) 4 (2.5) 2 (1.3 ) 1 (0.6) 66 (41.7) 38 (23.8) 27 (16.9) 33 (20.6) 2 (1.3) 8 ( 5.0) 1 (6.9) 26 (16.3) 13 (8.1) 24 (15.0) 11 (6.9) 2 (1.3) 1 (0.6) 8 (5.0) 88 (55.0) 24 (15.0) 27 (16.9) 34 (21.3) 2 (1.3) 7 (4.4) 1 (0.6) 18 (11.3) 1 (0.6) 4 (2.6) 4 (2.5) 4 (2.5) 3 (1.3) 28 (17.5)

Total N=620 76 (44.5) 147 (23.7) 122 (19.7) 83 (13.4) 8 (1.3) 43 (6.9) 2 (0.3) 23 (3.7) 65 (10.5) 4 (0.6) 20 (3.2) 59 (9.5) 31 (5.0) 11 (1.6) 3 (0.5) 37 (6.0)

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent percentage to Number of Respondents

iii) Kudumbashree: Kudumbashree members are involved right from the stage of registration of community members under NREGS for providing job cards. They facilitate proper implementation of the scheme standing by the Village Panchayats. They in fact, serve as a bridge between workers and the Panchayat functionaries. iv) NREGS Functionaries: NREGA Staff offer technical and non-technical assistance, monitoring the worksite, assessment of the work, payment
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facilitation, documentation, supervising the activities undertaken, guiding the Panchayats wherever needed. All of them act as facilitators in the whole process for the Panchayats to be able to implement the scheme successfully. Performance of NREGS as perceived by the Rural Households We have so far discussed the functioning of the scheme in selected districts of Kerala with reference to start-up activities, registration, issue of jobcards, provision of employment and the utilization of the scheme by the rural households. We have also made an attempt to ascertain the effects of the scheme on the income, expenditure, savings and migration of the rural households, benefits accrued to the individual households and to the panchayat. The functioning of the scheme and the outcome from the scheme largely depends on the way in which various activities designed under the scheme are implemented. The beneficiaries are the best judges in judging the execution of various activities. Hence, we have attempted here to assess the performance of NREGS as perceived by the beneficiaries with reference to select variables. They are: o Process of registration o Issue of job cards o Selection of works o Relevance and usefulness of the work to the village people o Execution of the work o Quality of the work executed o Supervision at the worksite o Support of government officials o Facilities at the worksite o Mode of distribution of wages o Transparency o Grievance redressal o Participation of people o Benefits occurred to the panchayat o Benefits to the household

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Each of these variables was rated by the respondents on a five-point scale ranging from very good to very poor. To quantify the rating, numerical score is assigned to each of the items in the rating scale as given below: Rating Very good Good Satisfactory Poor Very poor Score 5 4 3 2 1

Based on the responses obtained from the respondents for each variable under consideration, the average score in respect of each item district-wise is arrived at and the results are presented in the Table 5.38. The table indicates that the process of registration was done with utmost care by the village Panchayat in almost all the four districts. The aggregate average score is 4.34. Among the four districts the registration process was carried out in a much better manner in Idukki (4.51) and Wayanad (4.36) than other two districts. Focused Group Discussions with all the stakeholders in the Grama Panchayats in all the districts revealed the best practices adopted in this regard. o Special Grama sabha meeting for NREGS was convened in each panchayat and the participation of the people were ensured in all the districts. o Training sessions were arranged to make the Kudumbashree members aware of the essential features of the scheme and they were motivated to register under the scheme. o Photographs were taken free of cost. For those residing closer to the Panchayat office, it was arranged at the Panchayat office and for those who live far away photographic sessions were arranged in the respective hamlets. o Ward level meetings were arranged in each ward under the leadership of respective ward members.
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o Efforts were also taken to conduct special meetings in SC/ST colonies to ensure their active participation in the whole programme.
Table 5.38: Performance of NREGS as perceived by the beneficiaries (District wise Scoring) Districts Performance Scores Variables Process of registration The issuance of job cards The Selection of Works Relevance and usefulness of the work to the village/people The Execution of Works Quality of the work executed Supervision at the worksite Support of govt. officials Facilities at the worksite Mode of the distribution of wages Transparency Grievance redressal Participation of people Benefits accrued to the Panchayat Benefits to the household Palakkad 4.25 4.18 3.88 4.06 3.86 3.79 4.14 3.81 3.44 3.33 3.78 3.63 3.99 3.88 3.72 Idduki 4.51 4.27 4.46 4.31 4.21 4.16 4.44 4.26 3.19 3.91 3.82 3.82 4.51 4.43 4.69 Wayanad 4.36 4.35 4.03 3.93 4.01 3.96 3.93 4.25 3.63 3.79 3.96 3.75 4.19 4.29 4.26 Alapuzha 4.23 4.17 3.75 3.95 3.74 3.91 4.24 4.29 3.81 3.79 3.59 3.48 4.34 4.33 4.43 Total 4.34 4.24 4.03 4.06 3.96 3.96 4.19 4.16 3.52 3.72 3.79 3.67 4.26 4.24 4.29

Source: NREGA in Kerala - HH Survey Figures in the parenthesis represent column percentage

With regard to the issue of job-cards, the respondents rated the performance as very good in all the four districts. The average rating score ranged between 4.17 and 4.35. This shows that the registration and issue of job-cards were done to the satisfaction of the primary stakeholders of the programme. The selection of works under the scheme by various panchayats has been rated as very good the average score being 4.03. District-wise analysis shows that the respondents in Idukki were found to have rated highly

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the selection of work, compared to other districts. Focused Group Discussions with the stakeholders in all Grama Panchayats revealed that works to be taken up were decided by the people in the Grama sabha meeting. Every item of work was decided based on the consensus arrived at in the meeting. Regarding relevance and usefulness of the works to the people and to the village, the respondents rated it as very good. District-wise analysis shows that respondents in Idukki District are found to have given high rating for this variable when compared to other districts. It means functionaries in-charge of NREGS selected only those works which are relevant and useful to the people. The execution of work and the quality of work executed has been rated as good in general - the score being 3.96. District-wise analysis indicates that respondents in Idukki have given a higher score and rating as very good. The FGDs across the panchayats support these findings. The workers are quite conscious of the fact that they need to work hard to earn minimum wages assured under the Act. Hence, they sincerely worked which inturn resulted in creation of productive assets. The quality of such assets created has been rated only as good which means there is room for improvement. Supervision at the worksite was, by and large, rated as very good by the respondents in all districts expect the Wayanad district where it was rated as good. The FGDs revealed that the scheme has evolved a good system of supervision at the worksite. The salient features of the system are stated: o The advisory committee is responsible for: i) screening the proposals and giving necessary suggestions regarding the work; ii) purchasing of necessary materials to carry out the work; iii) solving the problems if any, in the work site; iv) monitoring the ongoing works; v) redressing the grievances of the workers; and vi) guiding them to work appropriately.

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There has been constant monitoring and support from the block level functionaries. District level functionaries have also visited the worksites. District, state and central level functionaries have made visits to the worksites in panchayats in all the four districts.

o Vigilance and Monitoring committee acts as an effective mechanism to keep track of the works under NREGS. Vigilance and Monitoring committee - consisting of a ward member, farmers, women representatives, social worker, representatives of SC/ST and a retired teacher - play an effective role in supervising the work. Regarding the facilities at the worksite, the respondents from all the four districts rated as good. However, the degree varied, in Idukki and Palakkad, a sizeable percentage of the people stated that they are satisfied but still there is scope for improvement in this regard. People in two other districts felt that it is good but it can be improved keeping the welfare of the people engaged in NREGS work. The focus group discussion revealed that shed for dressing, drinking water, toilets, first aid box with necessary medicines and tools are available at the worksites in all the four districts. In Alapuzha rain caps and gloves were provided. In some worksites, tea was served. Regarding distribution of wages, respondents rated it as good in almost all the districts - the average score being 3.72. It is understood from the FGD that wages were paid only through bank accounts. In some places the ADS members who are appointed as mates help the workers in accessing the money. Incidence of delay in getting wages was reported. The reason as attributed was delay in processing muster rolls. Support and guidance of the government officials, especially from BDO and DPAU is quite essential for the smooth implementation of the scheme. The respondents rated the support from officials as very good the average score being 4.16. District-wise analysis indicates more or less similar ratings except Palakkad.

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Transparency is another important factor which brings quality to the implementation of activities by avoiding misutilization and misappropriation of funds under the scheme. Respondents have given a score of 3.76 for transparency-rating is good. The responses at the FGD about transparency and accountability under NREGS in all the four districts under study were identical and unwavering. They reported that there have been cent percent transparency and accountability under the scheme. Grievance redressal is yet another aspect which assures smooth implementation of the scheme. Grievances arise in respect of timing, the quantum of work done, work turn out of the other members of the group and payment of wages. Timely redressal is important to keep the programme going as envisioned. It was found that in all the four study districts complaints have been registered. All the grievances have been addressed, sorted out and settled either at the Panchayat level or through the intervention of the block level officials. No complaint has taken the shape that could not be handled locally. The performance of the scheme with reference to grievance redressal has been rated as good average score being 3.67. District-wise analysis indicates more or less the similar rating. With regard to benefits accrued to the Panchayats and to the people, the respondents rated the performance of the NREGA as very good except in Palakkad indicating multiple benefits accrued to the individual and to the panchayats. Conclusion The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is being implemented in all the 14 districts of Kerala. The scheme has been slowly and surely taking deeper roots in Kerala with the active participation of a strong local government having time tested experience in local level planning and development. The start-up activities initiated at different levels have helped in launching the scheme smoothly. The level of awareness among the households about the scheme, its components and its salient features is quite high, which can be mainly attributed to the efforts taken by functionaries at different levels to take the scheme to every nook and corner of rural areas. Though there was some initial inertia in registration, the process of
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registration picked up later, due to special efforts made by the panchayats and Kudumbasree. All the households registered under the scheme received the job cards free of cost. There has been delay in issuing job cards due to lack of staff and internet facilities and non-production of ration cards by the workers. The works under the scheme have been selected in special Gram Sabha meetings convened at the ward level. Works selected are prioritized based on the felt needs of the public. The functionaries of the Panchayat and ADS/CDS create an enabling environment for the workers to demand work. Around 95 per cent of the respondents sought the work. Of them around three-fifths received dated receipt. Majority of the respondents were able to get the employment within the stipulated period of 15 days. The average number of days employed has registered an increasing trend in all the districts though there are variations among the districts. SC/ST households have been able to make use of the scheme better. They have high average number of days employed when compared to others. 14 per cent of the total households were employed for 100 days. Wayanad leads with 30 per cent of the households employed for 100 days. Majority of the respondents were found to have involved in road works followed by flood control and protection, irrigation canals, land development and renovation of traditional water bodies. A vast majority of the workers were able to get work within a radius of 3 km from their residence. Working hours vary across the districts. The NREGS functionaries have tried their level best to provide the facilities at the worksite as per the provisions of the Act. However, majority of the workers felt the facilities were inadequate. Men and women were able to get the minimum wage prescribed by the state government. Wages are distributed thro banks/post offices. Majority of the respondents were able to get wages within a period of 15 days. There are incidents of delay beyond one month. Women earned better wages under NREGS when compared to wage rates prevailed locally. Wages earned by men under NREGA are much lower when compared to prevailing wages. The scheme has discernible impact on the income, expenditure, savings and migration of the rural households. It has empowered the women in social,
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economic and political fronts. The scheme has also yielded many benefits to the individual households and panchayats. The functionaries have ensured that essential components of the scheme such as social audit, grievance redressal, transparency and accountability are grounded and practiced. The performance of the scheme as perceived by the rural households in selected district is found to be very good, indicating the good work done by functionaries of the scheme at different levels. *****

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Chapter - 6
Summary of Findings and Inferences

Introduction The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the first ever scheme that guarantee wage employment at an unprecedented scale was introduced through an Act known as National Rural Employment Guarantee Act notified on September 07, 2005. Implemented in a phased manner, the programme was launched in 200 districts in February 2006, 130 more districts in 2007-08 and in 285 districts in April 2008. The budget outlay for the scheme was Rs.30,000/- crores in 2008-09. Inspite of certain problems and shortcomings in the implementations of the scheme, the scheme has yielded discernible benefits to the rural households, which include guaranteed employment, assured income, equal wages to women, ensuring minimum wages prescribed, and security of access to livelihood opportunities. Purpose and objectives of the study The scheme was introduced in two districts of Kerala in 2006. It was subsequently launched in the remaining 12 districts. Almost four years have elapsed since the inception of the scheme. How does the scheme performed with reference to activities envisaged under the scheme? What are the output and outcome of the scheme? What are the changes that the scheme has brought in the lives of the people? What are the problems in implementing the scheme? These are some of the pertinent questions and prominent issues which the study attempts to address. The primary objective of the study is to analyse the functioning of NREGS encompassing all its essential aspects. The specific objectives are to: i) analyse the extent to which the scheme has guaranteed employment and livelihood to different sections of rural households; ii) assess the quality of assets created and their likely impact on agrarian economy; iii) ascertain the impact of the scheme on the socio-economic conditions of the people; iv) asses the limitations and constraint faced by the functionaries in implementing 124

the scheme; and v) identify the problems faced by the various participants in the scheme. Methods The study employed a mix of methods to address the objectives laid down. A comprehensive household survey using pre-tested interview schedule was conducted among the rural households. Qualitative methods such as focus group discussion, case study and interview with key informants were used to supplement and complement the data and information collected through survey. Sampling Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select the sample for the study. Four districts viz., Palakkad, Wayanad, Idukki and Alapuzha were chosen based on extensive discussion with the officials at the State level. The criteria followed to select the districts were: i) geographical location; ii) period of implementation; and iii) performance of the district. Two blocks were chosen from each panchayat. The criteria adopted were: i) performance of the block; ii) concentration of SC/ST households; and iii) concentration of agricultural labourers. From each block, four panchayats were selected, (except one where there are only three panchayats). From each panchayat, 20 respondents (beneficiaries) were chosen at random. The sample for the study includes four districts, eight blocks, 31 panchayats and 620 beneficiaries. Profile of Kerala State and selected districts Kerala is a small State constituting 1.18 percent of total landmass of the country. The State has three distinct regions viz., eastern high lands, central midlands and western coastal lands. The average annual rainfall is 3107 mm. Kerala is endowed with rich natural resources and is known as Gods own country. The State has 14 districts, 63 taluks and 999 panchayats. The State has a population of 3.18 crores - the density of population being 819 people per sq.km. Around three-fourths of the population live in rural areas. Tribals constitute 1.84 percent of the total population. Their concentration could be found in Wayanad, Palakkad and Idukki. The

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proportion of people in working age group is 63.4 percent. The state has the highest literacy rate, the lowest IMR and MMR and the highest life expectancy in the country. The poverty ratio is low with 15 percent. A good proportion of its population is confined to agriculture and agro-based industries. More than half of the labour force of the age group of 15-29 is unemployed. Palakkad is one of the largest districts in Kerala. It has 5 Taluks, 90 panchayats with 144 villages. Population density of the district is 584 persons per sq. km. It has a sex ratio of 1066. Literacy level is quite high with 84.35 percent. It is one of the main rice producing regions in Kerala. It has fairly well developed industrial sector with 1975 factories. The worker participation rate is 36.11 percent. The per capita income is Rs.18,031/-. BPL household constitutes 52.13 percent of the households in the District. Wayanad, known as Green Paradise, has a rich forest cover. It has three taluks, 25 panchayats with 48 villages. The density of population is 369 persons per sq. km., which is much lower than the State average. Wayanad has the highest concentration of tribals, constituting 17.1 percent of the total population of the district. The worker participation rate is 39.53 percent. The per capita income is Rs.34,123/-. The BPL households account for 49.87 percent of the total households. Idukki, marked by undulating hills and valleys, is the second largest district of Kerala. The district has four taluks, 51 panchayats with 64 villages. It has the least population density of 259 persons per sq. km. among the 14 districts of Kerala. It has a high concentration of ST households. Many of the ST population are working as agricultural labour in tea and cardamom estates. Worker participation rate is 39.71 percent. Poverty ratio is 15 percent. The recent agriculture crisis has resulted in increased risk of more households falling into poverty. Alapuzha, district lies in the eastern coastal plains of the State. The district has 6 taluks having 75 panchayats with 91 villages. The density of population is the highest in the state with 1489 persons per sq. km. The SC population constitutes 9.45 percent of the total population. The district is densely covered with waterways. The economy of the district primarily

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depends on agriculture and fisheries. More than 20 percent of the total area is water logged. It is a backward district with low per capita income. The worker participation rate is 34.30 percent. Socio-economic profile of the respondents The sample households numbering 620 has a total population of 2592 with an average size of family of 4.18. The female population constitutes 50.42 per cent indicating slightly high sex ratio. Two-third of population among the sample population is in the productive age group of 19-60 years. 4.5 per cent of the population is disabled. Around 30 per cent of the sample households belong to SC/ST; SC alone accounts for 12 per cent; and the rest are from other communities. The literacy rate is around 92 per cent. The sample households in Alapuzha have the highest literacy with 99 per cent followed by Wayanad with 94 per cent. Around 90 percent of the sample households have own houses. Majority of them (79%) live in asbestos / tin / tiled roof houses. Around 10 per cent live in IAY houses. Around four-fifth of the houses are electrified. 83 per cent have access to safe drinking water and have toilet facilities. The working population constitutes 64 per cent of the total population. The main source of livelihood is agriculture labour (31.2%) followed by NREGS (16.5%) and farming (11.4%). NREGS as the main source of livelihood is quite high (29%) in Wayanad when compared to other districts. NREGS has emerged as the major subsidiary occupation for two-thirds of the working population. Around two-fifth of the households possess some kind of livestock. The human-animal population ratio is very low (1:01) and it is reported to be improving after the introduction of NREGS. Around 20 per cent of the households do not own any household assets. 50 pre cent own cellphone and television; one-third of the sample households have LPG connection.

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Around one-third of the sample households have an annual income of less than Rs.24,000/-, indicating prevalence of poverty. The incidence of poverty in terms of income was high in Alapuzha followed by Palakkad, Idukki and Wayanad. The expenditure pattern reveals that a large amount was spent on food followed by education, clothing, medical expenses and servicing of debts. The main sources of borrowing for the sample households are SHGs and formal institutional sources such as cooperatives and commercial banks. Money lenders are found to be marginalized. Households have borrowed for investment and consumption purposes at a normal rate of interest. The incidence of migration could be observed in all the districts; but it was comparatively high in Palakkad. The main reasons are lack of employment during the off-season, education of children; and better wages. To sum up, the sample households hail from poor to moderate socioeconomic background Performance of NREGS With more than a decade long experience in local planning and development, the state of Kerala has been in a unique position of taking the full responsibility of the implementation of NREGS. The government has consciously made use of the Scheme not only to provide secured livelihood opportunities to the rural poor but also to strengthen the resource regeneration in forest areas, river basins and watershed areas as the state has very little public lands. Implemented in three phases, the scheme is now in operation in all the fourteen districts. Number of households registered under the scheme recorded seven-fold increase over a period of four years. The percentage of households employed has shot up from 11.3 lakh to 43 lakh roughly around four fold increase. Person-days employed witnessed a fifteen fold increase from 11.30 lakh in 2006-07 to 155.87 lakh in 2008-09. Of the total personsdays, 80 percent was constituted by women person-days, indicating high participation of women in the scheme. The scheme has been picking up

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slowly, steadily and surely in the State of Kerala though there were some initial apprehensions about the feasibility of the scheme. Start-up activities and awareness about the scheme The government initiated several start-up activities to spread the salient features of the Act and the Scheme among the public. The core activities are: i) training the various functionaries of the scheme at different levels, ii) organizing meeting among the stakeholders in different settings to ensure that the last are put first under the scheme, iii) organizing exclusive Gram Sabha meeting on NREGS, iv) involving various types of community based organizations and formal institutions like co-operatives, v) employing a wide spectrum of audio-visual methods and techniques to popularize and propagate the essential elements of the scheme. Panchayats, SHGs, friends and relatives and neighbours are found to be the key sources of awareness ofcourse the government playing the role of a facilitator behind the curtain. Other main sources of awareness include print and electronic media. A very high level of awareness could be noticed among the sample households about the essential features of the Act and the Scheme such as: 100 days of guaranteed employment, equal wages for men and women, minimum wage rate, payment within a fortnight, role of Gram Sabha, worksite facilities and medical assistances at the worksite and so on. Registration and issue of job cards Every household should get registered with the panchayat to get employment under the scheme. Measures taken to get the people registered are: i) distribution of applications for registration at the doorsteps of beneficiaries; ii) constitution of special team to quicken the process of registration among the tribals; and iii) convening ward level meeting and special meeting in SC/ST colonies. The respondents were found to have registered under the scheme in different spells. There were certain initial hurdles in registration. They are: i) the nature and type of work undertaken under the scheme was a restricting factor for some; ii) lack of awareness in some villages; and iii) better off

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households who would sustain without the employment assured under this scheme did not come forward. All the households registered under the scheme were issued job cards free of cost. Around 50 per cent of the sample respondents were able to get the job card within a period of 15 days. It took more than 15 days in the case of remaining respondents indicating the delay in issuing of job cards. The main reasons for the delay are: i) failure on the part of the households to provide the required documents; ii) lack of adequate staff and internet facilities with the panchayats; and iii) scattered location of houses resulting in poor communication in certain parts of the districts. Job cards are computerized. The process of issuing job cards has been made easy. No fee is found to have been charged for job cards. The job cards are with the workers. They are insisted to bring the job cards to the worksite Identification of Works The works to be taken-up under the scheme in each panchayat have been discussed and decided in Gram Sabha meetings. Ward-wise meeting convened by the panchayat has greatly helped in incorporating the voice of the people in selecting the works. Area Development Society was found to have played an important role in facilitating the people and panchayats in the selection of works. The works identified are prioritized by the panchayat. Priority differs from district to district as each district is found to distinctively differ in geographic conditions. The panchayats do come across certain problems in identifying the works. Prominent among them include: i) boundary dispute in the selected worksites; ii) suggestion of works by the people, which do not fall under the purview of the Act; and iii) inability of the panchayats to strictly adhere to the guidelines as the works could not be identified as per the provisions of the Act. Demand for employment All the households registered under the scheme did not participate. There are inter-district variations. For instance, in Idukki, 50 per cent of the 130

registered households participated while in Palakkad 55 per cent of the registered workers participated in NREGS. However, of the 620 sample respondents of the study, 95 per cent reported they got employment under the scheme. Whenever registered households demanded employment, they should be given a dated receipt. 57 per cent of the sample respondents got the dated receipt. District-wise analysis shows that majority of the respondents got dated receipts in Alapuzha, while in Idukki, less than 25 percent of the respondents got it. Each job seeker should be given job within 15 days from the date of receipt of application. Majority of respondents (71.2%) got job within the prescribed period. Wayand leads among the districts with average time lag of 12 days followed by Idukki with 21 days. One-third of the respondents reported to have experienced delay. Of them four per cent got unemployment allowances. Execution of Work The work under the scheme have been executed through a well defined process which include; i) identification of work, ii) preparation of peoples estimates by engineers, iii) project initiation meeting, iv) citizen information board, v) provision of implements, vi) arrangement of worksite facilities, vii) maintenance of muster rolls, viii) maintenance of worksite diary by mate, ix) implementation of work, and x) documenting the work executed. The various steps in the process have been meticulously followed in all the selected panchayats. Average number of days employed The average number of days employed per households has increased from 23.6 days in 2006-07 to 61.5 days in 2008-09 in Wayanad. In Palakkad the average number of days employed per household has increased from 12.8 days to 53.2 days during the same period. Both these districts, where the scheme was introduced first, performed relatively well. The progress has been slow in Alapuzha and Idukki. The SC/ST households were found to have made use of the scheme, better when compared to other communities. The average number of days

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employed per SC/ST households was higher than the other communities in Wayanad, Idukki and Alapuzha. The number of households employed for 100 days in a year has registered an upward trend. Wayand leads with 30 per cent of the households employed for 100 days, followed by Palakkad with 20 per cent in 2008-09. The other two districts are late starters. Their progress is slow in this regard. Participation in various items of work The major items of work in which the respondents found to have participated include, road connectivity (56.4%), flood control and protection work (35.5%), irrigation canals (26.6%), renovation of traditional water bodies (22.6%) and water conservation and water harvesting (19.4%). However, inter district variations are observed in this regard. In Idukki and Wayand, majority of the respondents are found to have participated in the works related to road connectivity. In Alapuzha majority have participated in flood control and protection work and cleaning of irrigation canals. In Palakkad, the participation was found to be high in renovation of traditional water bodies. The distance between the place of resident and worksite as reported by majority of the respondents was less than 1 km. It hardly exceeds the permissible limit of 5 km. A vast majority of the respondents (95%) have been able to reach the worksite by walk. Very few used other modes of transport. The work as reported by a vast majority of respondents commences at 8 am and closes at 5.00 pm with a short lunch break. The timing is not suitable to households in Alapuzha. They are accustomed to starting and closing the work early (6.30 am to 1.30 pm) due to hot weather during the afternoon. The basic facilities as stipulated in Act are made available in the worksite. However workers are not satisfied with the facilities. In certain districts viz., Idukki, Alapuzha and Palakkad, the facilities required by the workers at the worksite include, shade for dressing and resting, first-aid box, supply of tools, toilet facilities and drinking water. Around one-third of them suggested tea and snacks can be provided at the worksite free of cost.

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Majority of the respondents (75%) did not face any problem at the worksite. The rest did face some problems which include: i) tools are not good, ii) snakebite at the worksite and iii) difficulty in continuously working in water bodies. Women have come across certain specific problems. They are: i) They are not able to strictly follow time schedule; ii) a few are not accustomed to physical work; iii) tools are too heavy to carry; and iv) toilet facilities are not made available in certain worksites. Payment of wages Muster rolls are maintained by the mates at the worksite. The mates, who are drawn from Kudumbasree are well trained in all the essential aspects of NREGA. Wages are paid after measuring the work. Overseer/engineer assisted by mates measure the quality of work. They visit the worksite and measure the work usually after completion of the muster rolls. The wages are distributed through banks/post offices. The NREGA workers are to be paid minimum wage prescribed under the Act. 98.4 per cent of the respondents were aware of the minimum wage fixed by the state government. District-wise analysis indicates that all the respondents in Wayand and Alapuzha are aware of the minimum wage. The respondents are also aware of the mode of fixation of wage under the scheme. High level of awareness can be attributed to meticulous planning and execution of start-up activities, training, involvement of Kudumbashree and high level of literacy rate. 99.4 per cent of the respondents reported that they received wage rate of Rs.125/-per day which shows that all of them were assured of minimum wages prescribed by the state. All the respondents received wages in full. No incidence of under payment and non-payment was reported. Wages are to be paid within a period of 15 days from the date of completion of work. Little less than two-third of the respondents have received wages within 15 days. The rest got wages only after 15 days. Wayand has the lowest time lag of 12.57 days, between date of completion of work and receipt of wage, followed by Alppuzha with 20.86 days. The reasons for the delayed payment as reported in the focus group discussion are: i) lack of staff; ii) delay

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in providing muster rolls; iii) delay in measurement and iv) lack of monitoring by panchayat. Wages earned by men under NREGA was much lower when compared to wages earned elsewhere. The average wage difference was Rs.74/-. In certain districts like Alapuzha wages in the market for men is double the wages under NREGA. However, for women the wages under NREGA was better. The average difference was as high as Rs.38 in Palakkad. Impact of NREGA There has been substantial change in the household income after the introduction of NREGA. The change in the average income was found to be much higher in Idukki with Rs.2601/- followed by Alapuzha with Rs.2093/-. NREGA has impacted on the expenditure of households. Majority of the respondents reported that their family expenses increased in proportion to the increase in family income. Increase in family expenditure was high in Idukki (Rs.2369/-). The average increase in family expenditure for all the districts put together is Rs.1172/-. The wages earned under NREGA was spent on a variety of purposes such as household activities, education, buying of assets, purchase of food grain, hospital expenses, payment of old debts and so on. Majority of the respondents (47.9%) reported that they spent the NREGA wages for household activities, education (33.5%), purchase of food grains (30.3%) and medical expenses (22.6%). The scheme has impact on savings too. Around 45 per cent of the households have savings of less than Rs.1250/-. The average savings per household was Rs.563/-. There has been increase in the livestock population after the implementation the scheme. The increase is marginal as reported by the respondents. The scheme has empowered the women in social and economic domains. Participation of women in large number in the scheme and in the Grama Sabha meeting, the wages earned by them under the scheme, their

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connectivity to the external world through NREGS especially with banks, government functionaries and local government etc., have improved their status in the family and community. The women felt a change in their status after the introduction of the scheme. The scheme has helped in bringing down the level and intensity of migration as reported by one-fifth of the respondents. The effects of decrease in migration was found high in Idukki (42.5%) followed by Palakkad (17.1%) and Wayanad (16.3%).
Box 6.1: NREGA enhanced the credibility of the poor Mercy Joseph Pantrandil, a resident of Edathuva Gram Panchayat is a beneficiary of AAP (Anthyodaya Anna Poorna) scheme. Her family comprises of her mother- in-law, husband and two children. Before the introduction of the scheme in Allapey District, the family had to depend only on the income earned by Mercys husband Mr. P.Joseph, who is an agricultural labourer. As Mercys mother-in-law is a heart patient, a major part of the income had to be spent to meet her medical expenses. The NREGA was introduced in her area in the year 2008. In the beginning, Mercy was reluctant to register and work under NREGS, as she is not used to the type of works taken up in Kuttanadu area of Kerala. Even her friends discouraged her from taking up such works. But, she was convinced of the benefits of the scheme; registered herself under the scheme; and started working. She said that she could pick up the work so fast and she started benefiting from the scheme. The wages she earned under the scheme has been spent on meeting the medical expenses of her mother-in-law and the day-to-day household expenses. Besides, she also bought 4gms of gold and bought a goat. She could also utilize a part of the wage she got from the scheme to construct the kitchen. Mercy said that, everyone is now willing to lend money as her debt servicing capacity has increased due to the improved income through NREGS.

Benefits of NREGA NREGS has brought in several benefits to the households. Important among them as perceived by the households are: improved family income (23.2%); improved household expenses (24.5%), guaranteed employment (10.8%), payment of children education fee (11.6%), improved family status (9.4%) and so on. The members participated in the FGD across the panchayats invariably expressed the fact that the scheme has guaranteed employment with an annual income of Rs.12,500/-.

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Box 6.2: NREGA Lends a Helping Hand to the Victim of Agrarian Crisis Prasanna Gopi of Poothady Panchayat in Wayanad district will never forget 5 th August 2005. It was the day when her son Prajeesh joined 11 standard and her husband Mr. Thadathil Gopi committed suicide. Gopi used to work as an agricultural labourer on a daily wage basis to earn his living. The agrarian crisis in Wayanad area gave a rude shock to his livelihood source. As a result he borrowed from private bank and local money lenders. He could not service his debts resulting in soaring of interest charges. He committed suicide as many did so in Wayanad area. Prasanna lost the only bread winner of her family. She struggled very hard to find work to support her family consisting of two sons. It was at that juncture NREGA was launched in Wayanad. She came to know about the scheme through the panchayat and registered herself under the scheme. She has been very active participant in the scheme. She worked for 100 days in 2007-08 and also in 2008-09. She is quite happy now. She has assured employment. Her sons are attending school. She could bear the educational expenditure of her sons. She does not have any problem in meeting day to day expenses. In fact she has started saving some amount of money out of the wages earned under NREGA.
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Box 6.3: I need not go with empty stomach with the introduction of NREGA Vallyammal (39 years old), wife of Ranganathan (46 years old) belongs to Puthur Panchayat of Attappady block, Palakkad district. Vallyammals family consists of her husband Ranganathan, who is an agricultural labourer, their daughter Krishnaveni, who is studying in higher secondary and their son Sreenath who is in middle school. They have one and a half acres of dry land which is not amenable for cultivation. Before the introduction of the NREGA, Ranganathan, the head of the family was the only breadwinner and they find it really hard to make both the ends meet with meager and erratic income. Vallyammal has a strong conviction that a scheme like NREGA is a boon to families like theirs. After the introduction of the scheme, she got 100 days of employment every year under the scheme. She is happy that she could make use of the provision of the scheme to the fullest extent. The works in which she participated includes, construction of rain pit, retaining wall, check dam, and renovation of traditional water bodies like ponds and river. She got a minimum wage of Rs.125 per day and earned RS.12, 500/- per annum. She could get an amount of Rs.37,500/- over a period of 3 years. She said that she made use of the money mostly to meet the household expenses and educational needs of her children. Vallyammal reported that she had to go with an empty stomach in order to provide food to her children, before the introduction of the scheme. It is now a thing of the past and all the members of the family are assured of food. She had completed 42 days of employment in the current financial year (up to September 2009) and she is confident that she could find 100 days of employment by the end of the financial year.

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Box 6.4: Water-body retained Kolukkapara (Ward no.4) of Kozhinjampara Grama Panchayat is a remote village. Majority of the households are engaged in agriculture and agriculture labor. The village has experienced water scarcity both in agriculture and domestic purpose.The village has a traditional tank (Thenakulam) which is almost silted. There is a Vinayakar temple adjacent to the pond. The pond was a source of water for domestic and agricultural purposes. The people of Kolukkapara identified desilting of Thenakulam as one of the items of work that could be taken up under NREGS. The subject was discussed in Grama Sabha and it was st included in the schedule of work.The work was taken up on 1 Oct. 2008 and completed th on 17 Dec 2008. The size of desilted pond is 100m x 82m x 5m. 141 laborers worked for 45 days, of whom130 were women and 11 were men. Of the total workers 29 of them belonged to SC. The pond was desilted; follow-up activities such as construction of retaining wall, steps etc. were taken up and completed. The panchayat has taken up the task of cleaning the channels and pond on a regular basis. Around 100 families got benefited in the form of water for cultivation, water for domestic use and cattle. People felt that the pond would not have been desilted but for NREGS.

Box 6.5: NREGS Empowered Socially Marginalized Woman Mrs. Omana, aged 57, has studied up to 8 standard. She has 3 daughters. She owns a house provided under IAY. She is an agricultural laborer and a member of Kudumbashri. Her husband fell down and subsequently affected mentally. She came to know about NREGS in 2008 thro panchayat and government officials. She registered herself; received job card and applied for work. She got work within the stipulated period and worked for 24 days in 2008 09 and 36 days in the 2009 10 (up to th Oct. 15 2009). She has participated in works such as cleaning either side of road, cleaning of drainage, desilting of river etc. She has spent the wages earned on purchasing of food grains and milk, payment of electricity bills and meeting medical bills. She has also started repaying the old debts. She said that the scheme is very relevant in remote areas as it not only provides assured employment, but also empower socially marginalized women like her.
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The scheme has also brought benefit to panchayats. The benefits as reported by respondents and reiterated in the focus group discussions include: maintenance of road, renovation irrigation canal and channel, creation and renovation of water bodies like tanks, ponds and wells, rainwater harvesting, improved water resources and so on. The works taken up by the panchayats have brought may changes. The road works carried out enabled the panchayats to develop better connectivity between villages and urban centres. The soil and water conservation activities helped in recharging the ground water which in turn resulted in improved irrigation facilities. The clearance of drainage channels helped easy flow of water and in draining the excess rain water.

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The respondents reported that there is appreciable change in the relationship among the NREGS workers. (See Box 6.6). Improved relationship is a sign of creation of social capital in the villages which in turn would help to have better access to other sources of capital.
Box 6.6: NREGA facilitated socialisation Rasheed (34 years) is from Thavinhal Grama Panchayat of Wayanad district. He is mentally ill. His family comprises of his father, mother, wife, sister and niece. Before the introduction of NREGA, Rasheeds main source of livelihood was cattle rearing and he could always be seen with a herd of cattle. His father became sick and was bed ridden. The health of his mother too was deteriorating. The entire family was depended on Rasheeds income. There was no other choice for Rasheed than to take up a better work which would earn him more money. When NREGS was introduced in Thavinhal Panchayat, Rasheed registered under the scheme and started working under the scheme. The scheme provided a great deal of opportunity to socialize with others which has brought the changes in him. His illness too diminished gradually. At present, he is a family man works enthusiastically and earns a livelihood for the whole family through NREGA.

Social Audit Social audit has been conducted in all the four districts. Social audit teams consisting of 12 members have been formed in all the panchayats as per the guidelines of NREGS. The teams are found to have perused the records, interacted with beneficiaries and functionaries, visited the worksites and monitored the works, crosschecked the muster rolls, wages received for each work and completed all the works essential to complete the process of social audit. The team has prepared and submitted the social audit report to Grama Sabha for approval. The approved reports have been submitted to appropriate authorities. Grievance redressal Complaints raised are solved then and there. No complaints has taken shape out of proportion to be able to solve locally. The toll free number available for making complaints about mismanagement of the programme on individual grievance is not known to many of the respondents. As a result, none of them could use the toll-free number meant for grievance redressal. Convergence Convergence of schemes of different departments could be observed. Convergence has taken place with departmental activities of irrigation,

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agriculture, highway and fisheries in Wayanad and Palakkad districts. Convergence with Forest department has taken place in Alapuzha. Convergence is reported of Department of Agriculture and Department of Forestry in Idukki District. Roles of various functionaries Grama Sabha has played a very active role in initiating and implementing various activities under the NREGS. Participation in Grama Sabha meeting was quite high and the members actively participated in deliberations related to NREGS works such as selection of worksite, payment of wages, monitoring of on-going works, work timing, measurement of worksite and so on. Elected representatives involve themselves in monitoring the works undertaken and execution of the work. Kudumbasree members get involved at different stages of NREGS. They serve as a bridge between the workers and the panchayat. NREGA staff offer technical and non-technical assistance and act as facilitators in the whole process for the panchayat to be able to implement the scheme successfully. Performance of the scheme as perceived by the respondents The performance of the scheme with reference to variables such as process of registration, issues of job-card, selection of work-site, relevance of the works selected, supervision at the work-site, support of government officials, participation of people, benefits accrued to the panchayat and to households have been rated as very good by the respondents. However, the performance of the scheme with reference to aspects such as execution of work, quality of work executed, facilities at the worksite, mode of distribution of wages, transparency and grievance redressal has been rated as good indicating the scope for improvement. There are however, inter-district variations in the performance as perceived by the respondents. Conclusion The study carried out in Kerala has its focus on assessing the performance of the NREGS in Kerala. The study has covered a sample of 620 respondents selected at random in 31 panchayats, spread over 8 blocks in 4 districts. The study has employed a mix of methods in order to gather both

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quantitative and qualitative data and information that would help objectively analyse the performance of the scheme in the state. The scheme has been implemented in three phases - two districts in first phase, two districts in second phase and the rest in the third phase. Kerala with its pioneering experience in local planning and development has been able to effectively ground all the essential activities specified under the NREGA. The scheme has reached the right category of households. The start up activities designed and carried out in various panchayats have generated high degree of awareness among the people resulting in their active participation. All the registered households were issued job cards. Right type of works have been identified inspite of differing geographical conditions across the districts. Works have been executed in a methodical and systematic manner. There is a marked improvement in the average number of days employed per household and the number of households employed for 100 days. Works are provided within a radius of 5 km. Basic facilities are made available at the worksite though they are inadequate. Wages are paid in full through banks and post offices. There has been no report of delay in payment of wages. Wages for men under NREGA is less than prevailing wage rates. Wages for women under NREGA is higher than the prevailing wage rates. Though it is too early to expect the impact of the scheme, evidences clearly indicate that the scheme has impacted on the income, expenditure pattern, savings, migration, assets, status of women and social relationship. The scheme has also brought in benefits to the households as well as to the community. The respondents have rated the functioning of the scheme with reference to select variables as very good which is a sign of good work done by the various functionaries of the scheme. *****

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Chapter - 7
Recommendations
We present here a set of recommendations based on the inferences drawn from indepth qualitative and quantitative analysis and dialogue with various stakeholders of NREGA. 100 days of employment per adult member of rural household should be guaranteed instead of 100 days per rural household. This would help improve the income level of households who primarily depend on NREGS for their livelihood. A major complaint about NREGS is that it affects the agricultural operations especially during the peak season. Hence, NREGS work may be temporarily suspended during the peak season to facilitate the smooth operation of agricultural activities. In fact, such arrangements have been informally made in some of the panchayats visited by the study team. Land improvement and soil conservation works in private agricultural lands and construction of farm ponds in the lands of small farmers may be taken up in the larger interests of enhancing agricultural production in various regions. Such kinds of work may be taken up with matching financial contributions of the land owners. Panchayats should be allowed to take up works involving material cost (even if it exceeds the prescribed limit) as one cannot always find labor-intensive works in certain pockets of districts and the state. We have at present a blanket-type of guidelines uniformly applied in all the states and regions. Evidences from the field have clearly indicated the problems in adhering to the guidelines especially when it comes to the selection of worksites and adhering to the limit prescribed for the material cost. It is, therefore, recommended that the panchayats may be permitted to prepare region-specific employment plans without deviating much from the twin objectives of employment guarantee and sustainable natural resource management.

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Minimum wages, especially in a state like Kerala, need to be revised upward. Mens participation is restricted due to low wages under NREGA. The wages for women under NREGA, in certain districts (Alapuzha), is much closer to the prevailing wages. NREGA. Hence, there is a strong case towards revision of minimum wages prescribed and also wages paid under

Though NREGA is labour-intensive work with emphasis on physical labour, certain items of work like water and soil conservation require skilled lobourers. Provision should be made to temporarily employ skilled labourers. labourers. This may necessitate payment of higher wages to such

The Act does not permit re-intervention in an area where the works have already been taken up and completed. This rule may not be applied uniformly in all the regions. For instance, flood control and protection work needs to be taken up annually in the water logged areas like Kuttanad in Alapuzha district. Hence, it is recommended that provision of one time intervention need to be revised and the panchayats should be allowed to re-intervene based on the nature of work ( e.g. removal of Pola- a type of waterweed)

Delegation of responsibilities, works and the required authority from the block to the panchayats may be seriously thought of to avoid procedural delays. For instance, the responsibility of worksite measurement may be given to the panchayat administration. The officials from the block may supervise the work done as often as possible and thereby can quicken the process of payment of wages.

The Act guarantees the right to work. Hence, the demand for work will be there for ever. Hence, there is a need for staff exclusively to look after the works taken up under the NREGA. The staff who are currently working under the scheme may be made permanent. Taking in to account the quantum of work done in each panchayat, we may have to revise the organizational structure and make necessary modification. The organizational structure as proposed during the FGD is given below.

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Proposed Organizational Structure Existing President (1) Secretary (1) A.E. (1) Overseer (1) Accountant -cum Computer Operator (1) Proposed President Secretary A.E. (2) Overseer (2) Accountant-cum Computer Operator (2)

Driver with vehicle Certain districts have prepared a district perspective plan under NREGS. The perspective plan is prepared with a long-term vision and mission. The purpose of the perspective plan is to ensure sustainable employment opportunity through sustainable development of natural resources such as soil, water, forests etc. Panchayats are not aware of the perspective plan. Panchayat may be facilitated to prepare a perspective plan keeping in view the NREGA guidelines. The panchayats should provide tools and implements required by the labourers. They should be user-friendly and should be maintained well and be kept in a state of efficiency. The working hours should be modified keeping in view the difficulties expressed by the women. The revised working hours as proposed is 8.30 a.m. to 04.00 p.m. BSNL net connection should be made available in all the panchayats to have better e-connectivity for sharing information on NREGS with authorities at various levels. Taking into account the amount of work taken-up in a given block, a separate vehicle may be provided for facilitating and monitoring. ***** 143

Performance of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Kerala An Appraisal


(Study sponsored by Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India. Funded by UNDP New Delhi)

Household Interview Schedule 1. Identification 1.2. Community SC/ST/Others 1.4. Block 1.6. District

1.1. Name of the respondent 1.3. Village 1.5. Panchayat 2. Socio-economic Profile 2.1 Family Details S. No Code Name

if Age Sex Disabled; Education in type yrs 1 2 3 4

Main occupation 5

Subsidiary occupation 6

Relationship with HH head 7

SHG Membership 8

FD1 FD2 FD3 FD4 FD5 FD6 FD7 FD8 FD9 FD10 Column 2: 1 - Male; 2 - Female Column 3: 1 - Visual; 2 - Hearing/and/ or speech; 3 - Orthopaedic; 4 - Mentally ill; 5 - Mentally retarded; 6 - Cerebral Palsy; Column 4: 1 - illiterate; 2 - Informal education; 3 - Primary; 4 - Middle; 5 - Secondary; 6 - Higher Secondary; 7 - Graduate; 8 - Professional; 99 - not applicable [not of school going age] Column 5 & 6: 999 - Not Applicable; 1 - Housewife; 2 - Retired/old age; 3 - farmer;/Tiller; 4 - Agriculture labour; 5 - Skilled labour /e.g. carpenter, plumber, driver, mason, etc; 6 - Unskilled labour / e.g. construction labourer, loader, house help, caretaker; watchman, etc; 7 - Traditional Artisan; 8 - Services e.g. barber; milkman, dhobi; cobbler; etc; 9 - Petty shop; 10 - Vendor; 11 - Business;(e.g., shop - owner); 12 - Collection of NTFP; MFP; 13 - Government service; 14 - Private service; 15 - Others _________________________ Column 7: 1 - Head; 2 - Spouse of head; 3 - Mother; 4 - Father; 5 - Son; 6 - Daughter; 7 - Daughter-in-law; 8 - Son-in-law; 9 - Grand son; 10 - Grand daughter; 11 - Grand mother; 12 - Grand father; 13 - Brother; 14 - Sister; 15 - Sister in law; 16 - Brother in law; 17 - Relatives; 18 - Other specify: _____________________ Column 8: 1 - Yes; 2 - No

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2.2 Housing Details Description 1. Ownership of house 2. If Own, is it given by Government? 3. If Rented, what is the rent 4. Type of Structure 5. Do you have electricity connection? 6. What is the source of drinking water? Choice 1 - Own; 2 - Rented; 3 - Others (specify) 1 - Yes; 2 - No If no GOTO Q No. 4 In Rs. 1 - Hut 2 - IAY, 3 - Asbestos/Tiled/Tin Roof; 4 - Concrete 1 - Yes; 2 - No 1 - Water tap in the household premises; 2 - Public stand post; 3 - Hand pump; 4 - Open well; 5 - Pond; 6 - River; 7 - Any other ________________ 7. Do you have a latrine in your house? 1 - Yes; 2 - No 3 - using community toilet Response

2.3 Income

What is your monthly HH income?


Sources of income 1 1. Agricultural Income 2. Salary; Wage work of all family members (including services, crafts, etc.) 3. Income from Livestock 4. Income from Petty Shop (Small Business) if any 5. Remittance from wards/ relatives 6. Govt. assistance (OAP, Disability Assistance, etc.) NSAP 7. NREGA 8. Others (specify) Unit.(Period) 1 - Monthly; 2 - Quarterly; 3 - Half yearly; 4 - Annual 2 Income (Rs.) 3 Total [not to be filled in] 4

NSAP: National Social Security Assistance Programme

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2.4 Expenditure What is your monthly HH expenditure? Mention the amount against each item. Particular 1 Consumption Expenses 1. Food 2. Fuel and electricity 3. Education 4. Tobacco, Alcohol, gambling 5. Entertainment 6. Cosmetics, Toiletries, etc. 7. Clothing 8. Medical: Medicines/ Doctor 9. Transport 10. Festivals, religious ceremonies 11. House maintenance 12. Interest on loans, debts, etc. 13. Others (Specify) Unit.(Period) 1 - Monthly; 2 - Quarterly; 3 - Half yearly; 4 - Annual 2 Amount Spent Total [not to be filled in] 3 4

2.5 ASSETS 1. Land Description 1. Do you own land? Options 1 - Yes; 2 - No If No, GOTO Q No. 3 2. If Yes, specify the extent of land do you possess? 1. Dry 2. Wet 3. Farm Land (Garden) (In Acres) 4. Housing 3. Have you purchased / taken on lease any land during last 1 year? 4. If Yes, specify the extent of land purchased/ taken on lease? 1 - Yes; 2 - No Specify in Acres Response

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2.6 Livestock S. No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.7 Livestock 1 He buffalo She buffalo Cow Bullock Goat Sheep Pigs Poultry Donkey Others Specify Number 2 Total Value 3 Income derived 4

Household Assets Asset Grinder LPG Connection Television Air conditioner Fans Personal Computer Cell Phone Yes/ No S No. 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Asset Cart Cycle Two Wheeler Three Wheeler Tractor Tiller Others Specify Yes/ No

S. No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

2.8 LOANS 1. Do you or your family member have an account in any bank? 2. Have you taken any loan in last one year? 3. If Yes, give details. Last one year From Whom No. of Times [1] [2] Purpose [3] Loan amount [4] Interest rate [5] Mode of repayment [6] Any in Rs [7] How did Current out[9] repayments you mange [8] 1 - Yes; 2 - No If No, GOTO Q No.3 1 - Yes; 2 - No

to get loan standing

Code: Column 3: Column 6: Column 8:

1 - Construction of house; 2 - Purchase of land; 3 - Purchase of household assets; 4 - Purchase of food grains; 5 Marriage of daughter/ son/brother;/sister; 6 - Medical treatment; 7 - Repayment of old loan; 8 - Death Ceremony; 9 - Other social ceremony; 10 - Education; 11 - Celebration of festivals; 12 - Others ______________ 1 - Installment; 2 - Lumpsum; 3 - Any other specify ________________ 1 - Mortgage immovable property; 2 - Mortgage assets; 3 - Promissory note; 4 - Through a guarantor; 5 - SHG membership; 6 - Any other specify ______________________

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2.9 Migration 1. Has any member of the family migrated? If yes How many members? Specify the reason 2. If yes specify the reasons for migration? 3. for what duration 4. Where do they migrate normally? Code: For Row 2: 1 - Seeking employment in lean season; 2 - better wage earning; 3 - Better amenities; 4 - Children education; 5 - Others ___________ For Row 3: 1 - <2 Month; 2 - 2-4 Months; 3 - 4-6 Months; 4 - 6-12 Months; 5 - Above 12 months 2.10 Social Participation of the Members 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Particulars Local Panchayat Caste Association Youth Association Local Cooperatives NGOs SHGs SHG Federation Temple committees Others i) ii) iii) 3. Participation in NREGA 3.1.1 How do you come to know about NREGA in your area? i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) News papers Radio Television NGO Representative Panchayat Govt. officials Office Bearer Member only 1 Yes; 2 No

3.1 Awareness about NREGA

vii) SHG viii) Friends / Relatives / Neighbours ix) Any other specify

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3.1.2 Are you aware of the important provisions of NREGA? 3.1.3 If yes, Specify i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) Provisions 100 days per households Minimum wage Knowledge about correct minimum wage Equal wages for men and women Work within a radius of 5 km. Universal Act

Yes / No

RS

RAP

vii) Role of Grama Sabha viii) No labour displacing machinery ix) x) xi) Eligibility for unemployment allowance Compensation for delayed payment Medical assistance for injury in the worksite

xii) Worksite facilities xiii) Exgratia payment for death and disability xiv) Right to payment within a fortnight RS: Response Spontaneous 3.2 Registration 3.2.1 3.2.2 Have you registered under NREGA? If yes, give details i) When did you register? Yes / No Yes / No RAP: Response after probe

ii) Have you received job card?

iii) What was the time lag between date of registration and receipt of job card?

iv) Have you faced any problem? v) If yes, specify the problems

Yes / No

vi) Have you spent any amount for receiving job card? vii) If yes, specify the amount. viii) Who bears the cost of photography

Yes / No

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3.2.3

Mention the other members in your family who registered under the programme.

3.2.4

What are the steps taken by the panchayat to complete the process of issue of job cards?

3.3 Employment 3.3.1 3.3.2 3.3.3 3.3.4 3.3.5 3.3.6 3.3.7 3.3.8 3.3.9 3.3.10 3.3.11 3.3.12 3.3.13 When was the scheme introduced in your panchayat? What are the various items of works undertaken in your panchayat? How the works were selected? Did you participate in the Grama Sabha meeting? Yes / No

If yes, was there any discussion on any matters related to NREGA? Yes / No If yes, specify Have you sought employment under the scheme? If yes, were you given dated receipt by the panchayat? Yes / No Yes / No

What is the time-lag between date of application and the provision of employment? Was there any delay beyond 15 days in getting employment If yes were you given unemployment allowance? If yes what is the amount received? For how many days have you got employed? (year-wise) S.no 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. No. of days employed Family members Yes / No Yes / No

Year

Self

3.3.14 3.3.15

Specify the various items of work in which you participated? What is the distance from the residence to the place of work? Minimum km. ________ Maximum km. ___________

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3.3.16 3.3.17 3.3.18 3.3.19

Were you given TA if the worksite was beyond the distance of 5 km? If yes what was the TA received? What is the mode of transport used by you to reach the place of work? What is the transport cost incurred? Minimum Rs. ________ Maximum Rs. ___________

Yes / No

3.3.20 3.3.21 3.3.22 3.3.23 3.3.24 3.3.25

Who bore the transport cost? What is the working hour? What are the facilities made available at the worksite? Are they adequate? Yes / No

If no what more facilities are required? How would you rate the quality of the work executed? Very Good / Good / Average / Poor / Very Poor

3.3.26 3.3.27 3.3.28 3.3.29 3.3.30 3.3.31 3.3.32 3.4 Wages 3.4.1 3.4.2 3.4.3 3.4.4

Who provides the tools for the work in the worksite? If self, are the tools of your own or hired? If hired what is the rent paid by you for the tools? Are the tools worker friendly? Yes / No If yes how? Have you faced any problems in the worksite? If yes give details

Panchayat / Self /Kudumbasree/ Area Development Society

Yes / No

What is the minimum wage rate fixed in your state? Do you know the mode of fixation of wage for the work done by the workers under NREGA? Yes / No If yes specify. What is the wage earned by you under the scheme? Minimum Rs. Maximum Rs. Average Rs. : : :

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3.4.5 3.4.6 3.4.7 3.4.8 3.4.9 3.4.10

How is your wage paid?

By cash / through bank / through panchayat office /thro post office

If the wage is paid through bank / post office, was there any problem in withdrawing the cash from the bank/post office Yes / No If yes specify the problems. What is the time-lag between date of completion of work and receipt of wages? Was there any delay in payment of wages? If yes specify the i) extent of delay ii) reasons attributed for the delay Yes / No

3.4.11 3.4.12 3.4.13 3.4.14

Were you able to get the wages in full? If no why?

Yes / No

Is the muster roll read out when wages are paid? Yes/No What is the difference between wages under NREGA and the prevailing wages for other than NREGA work? Normal NREGA Men Rs. : Women Rs. :

3.4.15

What is the effect of NREGA on the wage structures in the market? Decreased / increased from Rs. _____ to Rs. _____ for men. Decreased / increased from Rs. _____ to Rs. _____ for women.

3.5 Effects of NREGA 3.5.1 3.5.2 3.5.3 3.5.4 3.5.5 3.5.6 How did you spend the wages earned under NREGA? What according to you are the benefits of NREGA to your family? What are the benefits of the scheme for the panchayat as such? What are the changes that the scheme has brought into your panchayat? Did you migrate to other areas in search of job before the introduction of the scheme? Yes / No If yes specify: i) Where did you go? ii) What was the duration? 3.5.7 What is the level and intensity of migration after the introduction of the scheme?

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3.5.8 3.5.9 3.5.10

Do you find any change in the relationship among the households after the introduction of the scheme? Yes/No If yes specify the nature and intensity of relationship. What according to you are the impacts of the scheme on the following? i) Livestock ii) Income iii) Expenditure iv) Liability v) Savings vi) Empowerment of Women

4.

PERFORMANCE OF THE NREGA Given below are the key criteria related to the functions of NREGA. Rate them on a five point scale. Criteria 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Process of Registration Issue of job cards Selection of works Execution of works Supervision at the worksite Facilities at the worksite Mode of distribution of wages Quality of the work executed Relevance and usefulness of work to the village / people Transparency Grievance redressal Participation of people Support of govt. officials Benefits occurred to the panchayat Benefits occurred to the households Very Good 5 Good 4 Satisfactory 3 Poor 2 Very Poor 1

Date & Time of Interview

Name & Signature of the Volunteer

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Focus Group Discussion with panchayat functionaries


District Panchayat: Date : : Block Venue Number of participants: : :

Checklist 1. Start-up activities 1.1. What are the various start-up (IEC) activities undertaken by the panchayat to generate awareness about NREGS among the households? Who get involved in IEC activities? 1.2. How are such activities received by the households? 1.3. What are the effects of start-up activities? 1.4. What is the amount of funding received towards start-up activities? How was it spent? Were you able to fully utilize the fund for the activities? If no why? 1.5. Did you convene exclusive Grama Sabha meeting on NREGS? If so what was the response to the meeting? What were the decisions taken in the meeting? 2. Launching of the scheme 2.1. When was the programme launched in your panchayat? 2.2. Are you aware of the key provisions and procedures of the Act? If so specify. 2.3. Did the President, ward members of the panchayat attend the orientation training on NREGA? Yes / No. If yes what is the content and quality of the training? 2.4. What was the initial response of the people to NREGA? 3. Registration and issue of job cards 3.1. What are the efforts made by the panchayat for registering the rural households under the scheme? 3.2. What is the role of Kudumbasree in registration and issue of job cards? 3.3. Have all the rural households got registered under the scheme? If no why?

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3.4. Are employment seekers able to register freely and easily for job cards? 3.5. Is the data bank available about the registered candidates? If so how is it prepared and maintained? 3.6. How are the job cards generated? (manually/ computerbased) 3.7. Who is in-charge of issue of job cards? 3.8. What is the time gap between registration and issue of job card? 3.9. Did you charge any amount for registration and issue of job card? 3.10. Who has the possession of job cards? 3.11. Did you come across any problem in registering and issuing job cards? Yes/No. If yes specify? 3.12. What are your suggestions to overcome such problems? 4. Identification of work 4.1. Was the Grama Sabha convened to select the work? If no why? 4.2. Who identifies the work? Do they follow the guidelines to select the work? Do they estimate the quantum and value of work? If yes how do they estimate? 4.3. Have you got an approved shelf of projects of atleast five works with technical and financial estimates ready to start when employment demand is received? 4.4. What kinds of works have been given priority? 4.5. What are the approved works on public display in the panchayat? 4.6. Have your come across any problems in identifying the work? Yes/No If you what are they add to in do you overcome such problem 5. Demand for employment 5.1. Do the job seekers submit application for employment? Yes/ No. If no why? 5.2. Are the applications given in writing? If so are receipts given? Are receipts dated? Who is responsible for providing dated receipts in the Grama Panchayat? 5.3. Is there any delay in provision of employment? If yes give details.

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5.4. Are there any instances of provision of unemployment allowance? If yes give details. 5.5. Have any special efforts been made to create demand among SC/ST? If yes give details. 6. Execution 6.1. Have all the registered households participated in the scheme? If no what are the factors hindering participation of the households? 6.2. Describe the step-by-step process followed in execution of NREGS work. (Please note whether respondents are able to list the following key steps i) Identification of work.

ii) Preparation of peoples estimate by engineers iii) Project initiation meeting. iv) Citizen information board v) Provision of implements. vi) Worksite facilities ( drinking water, first aid box, crche, provision of shade, toilet ) vii) Maintenance of muster roll viii) Maintenance of worksite diary by the mate. ix) Inspection of work. x) Photography of the activities (project initiation meeting; before execution , during execution, after execution) 6.3. Is there any mismatch between the demand for work and the availability of work? What are the steps taken by the panchayat to fill the gap between demand and supply? 6.4. How is the muster roll generated? Are muster rolls properly maintained? 6.5. Were there any incidents when workers without job-cards working on worksites? If yes why? 6.6. How and when the measurement of work is done? Is the measurement delayed beyond 14 days? If so why?

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6.7. Have engineers/overseers visited the worksite? If so how often? Are works-in-progress technically supported on a regular basis? Yes / No. If no why? 6.8. What is the average number of days employed in a year? Are there variations across the households in terms of number of days employed with reference to caste, gender, occupation, family size, age etc.? If Yes what are the reasons? 6.9. Are you able to provide employment continuously for 14 days? If no why? What is the percentage of disabled employed under the scheme? What type of work is allotted to them? What are the problems faced by them under the scheme? 6.10. What are the facilities made available at the worksite? Are they adequate? If not what more facilities are required? 7. Payment of wages 7.1. Does all the workers possess savings bank account? 7.2. What is the average amount of wage paid per day per labour? Does it vary from group to group? If yes specify the reason? 7.3. Are the workers able to earn the notified wage for agriculture labourers? 7.4. Are the workers earning the full task rate notified in the schedule of rates? If no what are the reasons? 7.5. Is the task rate earned equal to minimum wages? If no specify the reasons. 7.6. Is there any variation in the wages earned across the households? Is so what are the reasons? 7.7. What is the system followed in distribution of wages? Have the households expressed any problems in getting wages? If so what are the problems? 7.8. What is the time lag between work completion and payment of wages? 7.9. Women got employed in large number under the scheme. What are the problems faced by them in the worksite? What steps have been taken to overcome such problems?

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8. Impact 8.1. What is the impact of the programme on the rural households with special reference to: i) Livelihood ii) Income iii) Assets iv) Expenditure v) Savings vi) Liability vii) Migration viii) Social capital ix) Empowerment of women 8.2. How do people spend their wages? 8.3. What is the level and intensity of migration after the introduction of the scheme? 8.4. Has the scheme resulted in creation of allied livelihood on the foundation of water security? 8.5. What is the quality of the work? Have the works undertaken helped in developing productive assets? Have they helped in conserving soil, water and other natural resources? 9. Staff and Training 9.1. Do you have any advisory group for effective planning implementation and monitoring of the programme? If so give details of: i) how is it constituted ii) Composition of the advisory group iii) Roles and responsibilities of the advisory group

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9.2. Have the functionaries such as accountant-cum-computer operator, Panchayat Secretary, President and Ward members been trained in planning and implementing the scheme? If so give details of: i) Nature of training

ii) Content of training iii) Duration of training iv) Participants of training v) Effectiveness of training vi) Problems in imparting training 9.3. Have you introduced the system of online monitoring? If yes. Gives details of: i) The items of work monitored. ii) Effectiveness of online monitoring iii) Problems in online monitoring. 10. Records 10.1. What are the various books, registers maintained? Are they maintained as per the provisions of the Act? 10.2 What are the problems in maintaining the books and registers?

11. Monitoring 11.1. Have the works been inspected by block / state functionaries? If yes how often? Have they recorded their observations? If so what is the nature and content of observation? 11.2. Have you constituted vigilance and monitoring committee? Who are the members? What are their roles and responsibilities? How do they function? Have they been trained? If so specify the nature and content of the training? 11.3. Does the VMC monitor and certify the completion of work?

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12. Social Audit 12.1. Has social audit of all work been done? Who did the social audit? What is the process followed in social audit? What was the outcome of social audit? 13. Grievance Redressal 13.1. Do you maintain the complaint register? How many complaints are received? What is the nature of the complaints? How complaints are disposed? 13.2. You have toll free helplines? Are people aware of it? How many complaints have you received thro Toll free helplines? How many of them are disposed? Were there any problems in disposing grievances thro online? If so give details. 14. General 14.1. Is the organizational structure to implement the scheme adequate? Does it require modification / change? What is support infrastructure available to implement the scheme? 14.2. What is the mechanism evolved and adopted to ensure transparency and accountability under the scheme? What is the degree of transparency and accountability found in the scheme? 14.3. How do you differentiate NREGA scheme from earlier schemes for such as SGRY 14.4. Is the relevant scheme to your area If so How? 14.5. What are the various issues in converging the activities of various departments (e.g forest, Irrigation, Agriculture) with NREGA work? 14.6. Explain the role of i) ii) iii) Elected representatives Kudumbasree Officials in NREGA (panchayat, Block& district Technical & Non Technical)

14.7. What in the next step envisaged at the local level for better implementation.

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