KURNOOL: The spirit of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) appears to have been lost as the scheme is unable to check migration from rural areas.
Migration levels are increasing with every passing day in Kurnool and Mahaboobnagar districts.
An estimated 18 lakh people have moved out of the two districts by now.
Spiralling cost of living and meagre wages under NREGS are the main reasons for workers moving to greener pastures in search of livelihood.
The government scheme provides `100 per day and depending on the work done, workers get `70.
The amount is not paid on a daily basis and there are many stipulations.
Elsewhere, wages are more and paid on a daily basis.
The outward journey of labourers is visible at bus and railway stations in the two districts.
Prevailing drought conditions are only adding to the number of migrants with agriculture labour and small farmers joining the queue.
School dropouts rate too is going up with every single family that moves out.
Nearly 13 lakh people have moved out from Kurnool district in the recent past, from Aluru, Pathikonda, Done, Emiganuru, Kodumuru, Adoni, Mantralayam and Panyam constituencies.
With them moved out nearly 18,000 students.
Mahboobnagar district has seen nearly 15 lakh workforce moving out from Narayanpet, Devarakadra, Makta, Achampet and Nagarkurnool constituencies, taking nearly 20,000 students along.
houses locked, Villages wear deserted look
Villages are nearly empty with the young and ablebodied people going to Guntur district to work at cotton and chilli farms or to work at industries and construction sites in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Bellari, Mumbai and Delhi.
Half of the houses in villages are locked and families with kith and kin can be seen moving out in droves in trucks, buses and trains.
Schools too wear an empty look.
Lack of sufficient work in nearby places is the main reason for the migration though the NREGS is in force.
The amount is paid on the basis of work done and not immediately.
The new rules say that SC, STs should be given 300 days of work and others should be given 200 days but since the work will be allotted to all the eligible members of the family on the same day, it becomes difficult for all of them to attend.
The reason is agricultural work is not available due to drought conditions and people have no option but to leave for distant places in search of work.