BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a special package for migrant workers for strengthening their livelihood and creation of assets in 20 migration prone blocks of four western Odisha districts on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on Wednesday.
As part of the package, unskilled daily wagers in 477 gram panchayats of these blocks in Bargarh, Balangir, Nuapada and Kalahandi districts will get work for at least 200 days in a year instead of 100 days under MGNREGA at a minimum wage of Rs 286.30 per day.
All these panchayats will be treated as intensive GPs under Odisha Livelihoods Mission and each family will be brought under the fold of Self Help Group (SHG). Financial assistance from the Community Investment Fund (CIF) and Voluntary Reduction Fund (VRF) will be extended to the SHGs. Any person in distress can approach the local BDO for availing assistance from VRF.
Stating that a corpus fund of Rs 500 crore has been created to ensure timely and uninterrupted payment under MGNREGA, the Chief Minister said all eligible households will be provided pucca houses and all SHG members will be covered under insurance.
“Identified SHGs in the 20 blocks will be declared as Banking Correspondents in order to make availability of cash to the distress migrant workers. One eligible youth (18 to 35 years) from every household will be covered under placement linked skill development programme. Shramik Mitras will be deployed in all GPs in the blocks,” Naveen said.
The State Government will undertake a drive for all eligible construction workers for their registration under Odisha Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board and they will be provided marriage assistance, pension, education aid and pucca house along with other admissible benefits.
A district-level management information system and State level central database will be created to track migrant labourers and ensure linkage with welfare schemes. A comprehensive communication strategy will also be prepared for behavioural change of the workers in these areas.
The package is a part of the State Action Plan prepared to prevent distress migration in 11 migration prone districts in the State and ensure the safety and welfare of Odia migrant workers in other States.
Migration support and resource centres and seasonal hostels for children of migrant labourers in four districts, Odisha migrant labour help desk in three States and mechanism for the immediate rescue of distressed migrant workers have been set up under the action plan.
The State Government has also partnered with Tata Trusts and National Law University for a survey of 70 GPs in four blocks of Balangir and Nuapada districts. Earlier, a pilot survey was conducted in 30 GPs in three blocks on the two districts to study the reasons for distress migration.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated e-Shramik Samadhan, a 24x7 Shramik Sahayata helpline, to address grievances of the rural workforce and counsel migrant workers that will help reduce distress migration.
Rural Development, Labour and ESI Minister Susanta Singh said the initiates for ensuring livelihood, employment linked skill development and asset creation will go a long way in helping the migrant workers, especially in mitigating distress migration. Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Minister Pratap Jena also spoke.