Balasore, January 9 (Odisha.in) Even though the government has announced to employ two youths in every village as “Gaon Sathi” to monitor implementation of NREGS, for Magsaysay awardee renowned scribe P Sainath it is not sufficient to stop migration and hunger deaths in Orissa.
Sainath, who was in Balasore yesterday to deliver Anant Kar memorial lecture on “Economic scenario of rural India after 60 years of Independence and its impact on education” at Remuna College, took a strong note on the failure of one of the most beneficial projects for the poor.
“Work for hundred days a year to one person in a family as allowed under the scheme is not well enough to stop people migrating to other states,” he pointed out.
People from Koraput, Balangir migrate to Andhra Pradesh to work in the brick-kilns as because there is no limit for work days and more than one person from a family can be engaged.
“So why should the labourers be here to get only hundred days work,” he said. “The government should increase it 180 to 200 days,” he suggested.
The scribe who used to spend at least six months in rural areas criticized the government policies for making the rich richest and the poor poorest.
“While people like Amabanis get Rs 40 lakh per minute, in rural areas labourers struggle for Rs 40 daily. Even though 70 percent people live in rural India, but only 8 percent credits from banks go there. How can the rural India grow,” he maintained.
Focusing on both rural and urban education patterns Sainath said, while most of the toppers in Mumbai come from neglected areas like Vidarva, students can’t excel in rural parts due to their poor condition and less-exposure to different modern techniques.
“Of Rs 503 per capita income per month people in rural India spend 60 percent on food. While they still fail to feed their children properly how can they think about education. People here spend Rs 17 for education and Rs 34 on health per months,” he said.
Giving the statistic of UNDP, he said India ranks 128th in the human development index. “But surprisingly it is 4th in world for housing most billionaires. While still 20 crore people are failing to seek medical attention, the government claims India is the favourite nation for medical tourism,” he remarked.
“For the economic growth of rural people the government should give stress on education and health first. Education can be a major source of social reformation,” Sainath added.
Among others MBS Nayar, president of Emami Paper Mills and former Nilagiri MLA Pradipta Panda also spoke.