COVID-19 outbreak: J&K’s admin provides jobs under MGNREGA to villagers near border areas

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In India’s union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Department of Rural Development is providing jobs to people of Panjgrain block in Rajouri District who were facing problems in getting employment due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There are 11 panchayats in Panjgrain block, out of which eight are along the India-Pakistan border.
The jobs are being provided under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme and it is benefiting daily wage labourers during the coronavirus induced lockdown.
Naureen Choudhary, Block Development Office (BDO) of the area, said her department is trying to come up with more work during the COVID-19 pandemic to help the locals sustain themselves in the absence of other employment options.
“We have done a lot of work in border areas. We are trying to come up with more work during this pandemic so that people can earn a living and sustain themselves. Development of the area is also our motive,” she said.
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As per Muneer Hussain, Panchayat Inspector, “Most of the people here are poor and work as daily wage labourers. They are earning their livelihood due to the work provided by Block Development Office. Jobs provided under MGNREGA is providing employment to a lot of people here,” he said.
Mohammad Hussain, Sarpanch of Panjgrain also pointed to the problems faced by the villagers due to cross border shelling by Pakistan which hinders the developmental work in the area.
“This is a border area, and often becomes a victim of cross border shelling. But, the schemes of the Department of Rural Development have helped a lot and provided employment to the locals,” said Hussain.
Social worker Nazeer also praised the administration’s work. “Our panchayats have done some good work in the area. We haven’t heard any complaint regarding not getting employment.”

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