The data entry operators and overseers have become the backbone of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in panchayats. They play a key role in the successful completion of the programme in various panchayats.
These officers act as middlemen between the government and the people for the effective realisation of NREGS. The work of data entry operators and overseers begins when the works under the NREGS get approval from the gramasabha.
Right from preparing the action plan they play an active role till the plan is approved by the block and district panchayats.
The responsibilities of these officials range from finding out jobs for two years, receive applications for jobs, issue work cards, prepare master rolls, take awareness classes for the workers and prepare the beneficiary list.
They are paid a monthly salary of `10,000. In the beginning, there were only a few applicants for these jobs but the situation has now changed. The NREGS has helped people in the area understand the importance of water conservation and soil protection.
“When NREGS began in 2008 the only job was cleaning the canals. Later more jobs were created in projects related to wetlands. Initially, the total money spent for NREGS was `4-`15 lakh, but now crores of rupees have been spent. The ecology also improved for the better due to NREGS,” they said.
In their opinion environment protection is taking place while the workers under NREGS clean the canals and they grow mangroves.
The overseers said that in the beginning it was difficult to find workers for rural employment guarantee scheme. “But now people are coming to us in search of jobs under NREGS,” they said.