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IN A FIRST, GEHLOT OPENS JOB CARDS FOR URBAN POOR

Munni Bai, 32, has had a tough time raising her three children ever since her husband died in the second wave of Corona. Barely surviving by day, she thought of going back to her village where her three brothers are fighting against their share of miseries. Just then she came to know about the government’s recently launched a unique urban job guarantee scheme which assures 100 days employment in a year to every registered citizen living in city limits. Getting a fresh lease of life, Munni Bai like 3.5 lakh other beneficiaries of this scheme, is now able to make ends meet at her home in Jawahar Nagar Kachchi basti. Moved by the plight of urban poor like Munni Bai, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot launched this `800 crore scheme - Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme (IGUEGS) - in September this year to provide them the livelihood assurance. “We have seen economies crumbling during Covid-19, reverse migration happening to villages, huge job losses and desperation everywhere. The miseries of jobless urban poor prompted the thought of having a guaranteed job scheme in urban limits. We are committed to provide financial support to every family in the state. IGUEGS is just a step towards it,” said Rajasthan chief minister Gehlot.

Rajasthan is the only state in the country to provide job guarantee to urban poor on the lines of the historical Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme’, which provides at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to each household in rural areas of the country. Under this scheme, poor jobless people in the age group of 18-60 years living in municipal areas gets a daily wage of `259 for 100 days in a year. The scheme provide employment in the segments of environment and water conservation, cleanliness and sanitation, stopping defacement of property, service-related works, convergence work and heritage conservation. The pioneer of this scheme Ashok Gehlot wants the union government to implement this scheme across the country to provide financial support to urban poor who are still struggling to earn their livelihood. “MNREGS is a national scheme which was also launched by Congress. Now It is not only generating employment but also creating assets in rural areas in form of roads, dams, sanitation and developing other basic amenities. We expect IGUEGS to transform the lives of urban poor in the similar way,” he said. The government is focusing big on the successful implementation of this scheme. In less than 100 days of its launch, urban bodies across the state have estimated `676 crore of works to be completed under this scheme. “Gehlot government is known for its sensitivity. Like his previous two terms, the chief minister has launched several schemes aimed at serving poor and destitute. This scheme is a unique socialist model to support skill development and urban poor, said RC Jain, a retired bureaucrat, who had worked closely with the chief minister Ashok Gehlot.

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