JHARKHAND: Sukhram Oroan from Childri village in Ranchi is happy that his income has increased substantially after mango plantation on 3 acres of his land which also enabled him to do inter-cropping even in summer, when the land usually remained unused.
Thanks to the Birsa Gram Vikas Harit Yojana under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), which transformed his life and of other villagers. Under the scheme, they were paid daily wages for planting mango saplings on their land, besides building other assets like wells and ponds, making it easier for them to cultivate their land.
Ita and Childri villages under Bero Block, which have successfully implemented almost all schemes under MGNREGA, have been designated as MGNREGA Park by the state government. MGNREGA work is spread over 100 acres in Ita, and has come as a dependable source of income for the locals amid the Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged the rural economy. People are engaged in works like digging of wells, ponds, dobha and producing vermin-compost, plantation of mango saplings and several other non-skilled jobs which have benefitted more than 150 people.
Under the Harit Gram Scheme, plantation of mango orchard is being done on 39 acres while trench and bund cutting was done on 9 acres for water harvesting training and capacity building. Sukhram Oraon, one of the 37 beneficiaries, earned more than Rs 75,000 extra this year by selling mangoes. “Earlier, we used to do only single farming on our land, which remained unused for the rest of the year. Now, in summer we get mangoes and do inter-cropping in the monsoon season,” said Sukhram. “We have also been given the facility to irrigate our land by digging up ponds and wells,” he added.
He says since they have ample money through mango sale; they don’t have to depend on local money lenders anymore for purchasing seeds and manures for paddy cultivation. Another beneficiary, Ashwini Singh of the same village, says their financial condition has improved significantly. According to village head Budhram Bara, since people are getting jobs in the village, there has been a remarkable decline in migration of labourers, too, he said.
BDO Vijay Kumar Soni says, “I never thought of getting any special tag for these two villages. Since all schemes were implemented successfully, Ita and Childri were designated MGNREGA Park by the state government,” said Soni. He added that wherever there was a scope for MGNREGA, he implemented it. Praveen Kumar, who is currently posted as BDO in Bero, says if the government develops every village as MGNREGA Park, it could bring a transformation in rural economy.