The latest annual social audit report on India’s more than a decade-old rural employment guarantee program has revealed major shortfalls in worksite facilities across the country.
The social audit, conducted in 46,130 of the 2,62,416 Gram Panchayats, found that worksites in 20,316 Panchayats — 44% of the audited ones — lacked first aid facilities. While 3420 Panchayats provided the mandated facility for some works, the rest did not keep first aid kits during any works at all.
This meant that a worker getting injured at these sites have to be dependant on some outside help in such remote villages.
Instances of workers getting injured or dying at the work sites while they worked under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) have been reported from parts of the country.
Apart from this, the annual social audit also looked into the availability of drinking water, availability of a shed, and the presence of a female worker for caretaking of more than 5 children at the worksites.
According to the report, nearly 10,000 Gram Panchayats lacked drinking water, 17,000 lacked shed over the head and 25,000 Gram Panchayats had no caretaker appointed for children.
Under the MNREGA, passed in 2005, every willing adults in rural areas are guaranteed 100 days of wage labour in a year. If the employment is not provided to the applicant under the 15 days of application, the person is given a compensation.