New Delhi: The rags to riches saga of the Kaun Banega Crorepati 5 winner Sushil Kumar has lot more to rejoice. With all round success kissing the feet of the overnight millionaire, he has been now named the brand ambassador for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

The Bihar native who was employed under MNREGA since 14 November, 2007 has been conferred with the brand ambassadorship of the national policy on the same date. The Rural Development Ministry has entrusted the responsibility on him for awakening the rural masses for which he is required to visit Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and other Hindi speaking states for the purpose.

Talking to Dainik Jagran after the programme, Sushil said, “MNREGA has boosted women empowerment as now they are not dependant on their husbands for money.”

Overwhelmed by meeting Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, he said it was his first meeting with any Cabinet Minister.

He said, MNREGA has brought a reduction in youth migration from villages to the city for employment. He plans to visit the rural areas to make them familiar of the regulations. He said, the scheme has infused a new strength in the villagers as the means of communication have brought a significant improvement in their condition. MNREGA has empowered each and everyone due to which he was able to take part in the KBC 5.

MNREGA to issue new regulations

Fed up with corruption and irregularities, the government is set to issue new guidelines next week. Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said, he does not want to run MNREGA on the lines of bureaucracy. He said, “The social security scheme worth 40,000 crore would now be run like a mission.  Along with transparency and accountability, there is also a need of flexibility in the rules.  The time has come to take tough decisions.”

He added, more thrust will be laid on skill development of rural youth in the second phase of the scheme. The rule of 60 to 40 proportion of wages and material also need to be relaxed as many states have talked about the amendment.

JPN/Bureau