Women living in remote Indian villages often live a life marred with hardships. Left alone after spouses, other family members move to cities in search of better work opportunities, they have to take care of their children all by themselves like Uttarakhand’s Guddi Devi. Despite government schemes for rural employment, the villagers who rarely know about their rights and government schemes are refused jobs, especially women. But now things have changed for them with the help of Soochna Seva team that is helping them get jobs under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
Villagers were informed about the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) that assures at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. Also, one-third participation is of women.
After getting this information, Guddi Devi immediately applied for MGNREGA benefits and now is financially equipped to raise her children well. After this service of Soochna Seva, Guddi Devi will never again have to stoop and beg in front of contractors for work or the money she has a right over!
But rural unemployment is not the only problem gripping women living in rural areas. In another Uttarakhand village Dabri, two women Meena Devi and Anju Devi were fighting a problem of different kind. Both ignorant about their rights and entitlements and about the benefits of government schemes faced terrible financial woes and struggled to make ends meet. Raising their daughters in such grave situation was even more difficult.
“The very thought of feeding my 3-year-old daughter kept me awake every night”, says Anju while Meena too spent sleepless nights in fear of her child’s uncertain future. “The thought of tremendous financial constraint often gives me sleepless nights. All I want is for my children to have a better future,” she lamented.
Things are now moving uphill for them with a little intervention of Soochna Seva team who reached their village to deliver information about government schemes to the community. The team inquired about everyone’s families and suggested suitable schemes. They were suggested to apply for Nanda Devi Kanya Dhan Yojna. Under this government scheme, a family in Below Poverty Line (BPL) having a girl child born after January 01 2009, is given an amount of Rs.5000. Now, with a little bit of financial support, they are hopeful for a better future for their daughters.