In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, when tens of thousands of people have lost jobs, Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao has proposed to lend support to autorickshaw drivers who have lost their only source of livelihood. The Minister shared that the district administration has decided to provide work to all the autorickshaw drivers in Siddipet constituency, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) for 100 days or till the end of the lockdown period.
In Pune too, the Zilla Parishad has directed the gram panchayats in the district to begin work under MGNREGS so that migrant workers receive some financial support and source of livelihood. However, while assigning work, care has to be taken to maintain social distancing.
The decision to help the auto drivers in Siddipet was taken because the lockdown has brought public transportation to a halt. As a result, these drivers have had no source of livelihood. The Minister distributed essential commodities to the families of 312 drivers. Job cards will be issued to these drivers by the heads of the gram panchayats of their respective constituencies. These cards will serve as official permits for the drivers to run their autos. Therefore, the drivers have been asked to get in touch with their respective gram panchayats.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 aims to enhance the livelihood security of people in rural areas. It guarantees 100 days of wage-employment in a year to a rural household, where the adult members volunteer to perform unskilled manual work.