Shimla:  For the first time, an HIV Positive woman has complained of being debarred from a job card under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) in Himachal Pradesh.

Despite several efforts, a helpless woman of Sidhbari panchayat in Kangra district failed to get a job card under the MNREGA. The non-governmental organization Chinmaya Organisation for Rural Development (CORD) forwarded the case to the Kangra Block Development Officer which gave jitters to the administration.

 According to the woman, she had applied for the job card under the village panchayat but failed to get employment.

During the public hearing on an initiative by NGO ‘Peoples Action for People In Need’, CORD raised the issue with the government. According to the accusation, the woman is not getting employment in her stipulated ward but is forced to work in other wards instead.

Moreover, women were to get a 50 percent reservation in social audit under the MNREGA but the number is still limited to a mere 10 percent. A person is required to go on field visits for social auditing but women are not provided any training for the purpose. In 2006-07, a weekly off was provided under the MNREGA in Sirmour and Chamba district but later the labourers were deprived of this facility.

No supervision of MNREGA work

According to the Peoples Action for People In Need, no supervision is carried out by panchayat pradhan, development officer, employment servant, technical assistant.

The NGO also claims the revenue officer adds the MNREGA wages of Rs 12,000 to the annual income while providing the income certificate, without clarifying that weather the person has been provided employment or not. As a result, poor, lonely and helpless women and elderly do not get entitlement to the government help.

JPN/ Bureau