ANANDI has been working as part of the Rozi Roti Lok Jumbish (RRLJ) and the Anna Suraksha Adhikar Abhiyan (ASAA) and have focussed their activities on Panchmahaals and Dahod districts of Gujarat. Within these districts the Devgadh Baria Block (Dahod district) and Ghoghumba Block (Panchmahaals) district have been the locus of their intensive campaigns. ANANDI has also chosen to work with 6 GPs of Ghoghumba block with the objective of partnering the GPs and provide focussed inputs to the community to prepare plans and implement them under MGNREGA.
Roji Roti Lok Jumbesh (RRLJ) – people’s campaign for right to food and work is an annual process of awareness and social audit initiated by ANANDI with the Gram Sabhas led by the local women’s sangathans. RRLJ is best described as a people’s campaign for collective action on ensuring right to work under MGNREGA and right to food entitlements. In the beginning of the 2007 the 15-day Padyatra covered 80 villages. The objective of the campaign was to help communities understand the Act and their rights within it and to conduct social audits of fund utilization under MGNREGA.
The second round of RRLJ began in December 2007 and continued till February 2008. The campaign in this period focused on demonstrating how people can exercise their right to demand for work and ask for information regarding public funds/resources that are allocated for their development and that of their village. The campaign was divided in the following phases:
- Awareness about the provisions of the act and demand for work
- Demand information from the Gram Panchayat about the works done in the current financial year thus establish the transparency function
- Demonstrate how people could demand work, get full wages with good quality work
- Demand and ensure that the worksite facilities for workers are arranged for
The RRLJ in January 2007 resulted in significant change in coverage and approach of the block as well as the district level officials. The following table shows the positive impacts of RRLJ in Devgadh Baria block of Dahod where the campaign took place:
- In Devgadh Baria, households demanding work rose by 273%. In Dahod block by 123%
- In Devgadh Baria, households provided work rose by 273%. In Dahod block by 123%
- In Devgadh Baria, there were no GPs in which social audits were conducted. By the time the campaign ended, the number of GPs rose to 71. In Dahod, the corresponding figure was 23 before and 315 after
- In Devgadh Baria, wage days generated rose by 62%, in Dahod by 37%
Manav Kalyan Trust (MKT) has worked in 31 villages of 5 GPs of Khedbrahma Block in Sabarkantha district.
- Initially a massive house to house contact programme was launched by MKT in which information about the implementation of Act as well as the components covered under the activities was collected. Based on this, an understanding was developed of the problems on the ground and the strategies needed to overcome these.
MKT concentrated on mobilization campaigns to create greater awareness around MGNREGA and workers’ entitlements. 41 Gram Sabhas and awareness campaigns in all villages of the five GPs were mobilized by MKT with the specific objective of creating awareness and generating demand for employment. To make this campaign more effective, methods such as role play were adopted.
- The efforts of MKT resulted in an overall increase of 115% in job card coverage in the concerned GPs. In Kheroj, Sembaliya and Didhiya the increase has been particularly dramatic.
MKT provided technical support to the five panchayats for preparing plans under MGNREGA with the active involvement of sarpanch and panchayat members. These plans cover a period of 5 years and focus on natural resource management and land development for sustainable rural livelihoods. The major activities which were identified in the plans were:
- Construction of ponds
- Desilting of Checkdams
- Construction of Farm Ponds
- Construction of Bori Baandhs
- Construction of Earthen Dams
- An expenditure of Rs.1.01 crores has already been undertaken in these GPs with more than 1 lakh person-days of employment generated. This expenditure represented 46% of the total budget of Rs.2.19 crores available for MGNREGA for the whole block at the beginning of 2009-10