UDUPI: Shekar Suvarna, a barber in Hakladi in Kundapur, was worried as he had to shut his shop during the lockdown. He, along with his wife Baby and sons Shashikiran (24) and Sumanth (21) were leading a simple life, but the pandemic caused a major disruption.
However, a silver lining appeared when the panchayat development officer (PDO) of Hakladi GP called Baby over the phone and asked her to work under MGNREGS from April 25. The daily wage of Rs 275 prevented them from starvation.
Manju from Karkala sailed through the lockdown by working under MGNREGS. ‘’I applied for a job card at the right time and got the work when there was no other labour-intensive work outside during the lockdown,’’ he said.
As many as 2,070 persons applied for job cards in Udupi district after the lockdown announcement and got the opportunity to work. Meanwhile, social activist Krishna Udyavar told TNIE that he had learnt that there were only 25,000 active job cards out of the total 71,000 claimed by the officials. Kiran Pednekar, District Nodal Officer for MGNREGS, Udupi, told TNIE that sizeable numbers of the fresh job card holders are those whose livelihoods got affected due to lockdown.