Andhra Pradesh

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Partners

  • WASSAN, REDS, APMSS, PILUPU, EFFORT in Anantpur, Srikakulam, Warangal, Nalgond, Karimnagar and Prakasam districts
  • Foundation for Ecological Security in Chittoor district


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  • Despite the MGNREGA guarantee of work on demand and unemployment allowance, it is difficult to make the system work because it is used to working in a supply-driven mode A long and hard struggle by WASSAN and its partners, REDS, EFFORT, PILUPU and APMSS succeeded in operationalising the system of work application, receipt and the provision of work within 15 days.
  • After consortium partners helped wage seekers and set up workers’ collectives, the number of wage seekers applying for work increased and they started getting receipts. This system of obtaining receipts against formal application for work was almost absent throughout the state where there are no supportive organisations for the wage employment seekers.
  • Participation in MGNREGS has looked up compared to previous years. In the 33 project villages, the number of households who have accessed wage employment in the year 2009-10 is 64 % of the total households registered, higher than the state average of 54% for the year 2009-10.
  • The APMSS in Nalgonda district supported 4 groups to apply for unemployment allowance. Mandal officials did not respond despite several attempts, largely on account of a lack of clear guidelines as well as delay in approval at the state level. Through persistent effort, after four years of the implementation of MGNREGA, the department formalised the system of work applications and receipts and made it compulsory. The field functionaries (Field Assistants) are made responsible for conducting periodical meetings of wage labour groups and obtaining work applications in those group meetings as per the needs and demand of the members.
  • Participation of SC/ST households is progressing at slow pace. After five years of work of the consortium partners, the participation of SC and ST households had crossed beyond 50% in five  locations out of seven. Delays in opening of work and making payments are major reasons for relatively low participation of SCs
  • The average number of wage days in the focus villages, put together, has also increased from 45 days in 2007-08 to75 days in 2009-10, which is higher than the state average of 64 days for the year 2009-10.

Drinking water remains the only common worksite facility provided throughout the state. Interventions on this front by WASSAN and partners are twofold:

  • creating widespread awareness about worksite, organising workers to demand these facilities from the field level as well as mandal functionaries. This has led to a marked improvement in the provision of worksite facilities in project locations. For example a separate labour/person exclusive for arranging drinking water is now ensured without any lapse and in most cases first aid box with medicines are also noticed at worksite along with shade.
Besides work site facilities, organisations have also supported the wage seekers in accessing medical facilities/insurance entitled to them. Efforts of APMSS in Poreddypalli village in Karimnagar district ensured that an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 50,000 was made to the daughter of a woman wage seeker cum SHG member who had died at work site. The local functionaries, for want of a post-mortem report, had denied the payment. After constant follow up from mandal to state level by APMSS, the government has issued orders for payment based on the resolution of panchayat in the absence of a post-mortem report. Now this order applies to the whole state. This is one classical example of institutionalising the solutions based on the problems/issues identified in the working villages.
  • However, the provision of facilities at worksite are dependent on the decisions taken at the state level. To address this, WASSAN and partner organisations regularly brought issues, problems and their own innovations to the notice of the department
Creche facilities at K.N Palem, Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, organised by REDS

Creche facilities at K.N Palem, Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, organised by REDS

REDS brought in Anganwadi centres as crèche centres for MGNREGS workers with the support of an aya provided under MGNREGS ensuring that the children are properly fed and shielded from direct sunlight. REDS has done a pilot in its working village tying up with the Anganwadi centre and even provided ragi malt to the children at the Anganwadi.

  • Ensuring timely wages is a major challenge in MGNREGS. WASSAN and partners have ensured that wage seekers are aware about their entitlements with respect to payments. Instances of delayed payments were regularly brought to the notice of mandal, district and state administrations demanding appropriate action. This was made possible by putting up a mechanism in the form of regular interaction of wage labour groups and their leadership with the local functionaries/officials.
  • Institutionalised processes of social audit, a 24 X 7 call centre, vigilance cells, district level ombudsmen and an Andhra Pradesh NGO Alliance (APNA) for MGNREGS are the important mechanisms that the state rural development department has set up to address grievances and to ensure transparency and accountability in the implementation of MGNREGS.
  • All the consortium partners in AP are partners in the Andhra Pradesh NGO Alliance (APNA) and are engaging with MGNREGS at ground level besides providing feed back to the department to take necessary modifications in the system through appropriate policy interventions
  • In the working villages the partner organisations are encouraging the workers to extensively use the toll free helpline number (15532) to register their complaints/field level problems. This process helped in making the workers directly represent their issues and owning the process. Organisations are only providing follow up support to these complaints. Several issues related to implementation processes like opening up of work within time, delay in payments, lack of worksite facilities, complaints about field level functionaries etc., are being reported through this number/system.
  • AP state has established a society named Society for Social Audit, Accountability & Transparency (APSSAAT) exclusively for conducting social audits on NREGS in villages. The SSAAT undertakes social audit in each village once in 6 months with the support of Sate level Resource Persons (SRPs) and District level Resource Persons (DRPs). Partner organisations are helping the social audit team to ensure smooth conduct of social audits by participating in the process at the village level, mobilising the wage seekers for open forums, creating awareness among the wage seekers and ensuring penalty to the culprits. In several cases, with the involvement of consortium partners, misappropriated money was recovered. In some instances, criminal cases were also booked against culprits. In the selected villages it is noticed that wage seekers (particularly women wage seekers) are empowered to demand their entitlements.

Social audit mandal public hearing, Kanagal, Nalgonda - APMSSIn Kanagal Mandal in Nalgonda district no action was taken against erring persons and the money was not recovered, as mentioned in the social audit report. The APMSS team in Nalgonda approached Lok adalat for follow up action on the social audit findings. After several rounds of hearing and a Lok adalat order, officials had to take action and finally recovered Rs 92,550 against Rs 36,60,458. However, the mate and field assistants were dismissed from service.

Consortium partners have supported the government in identification of households and formation of groups, building their capacities with respect to EGS entitlements and procedures, facilitated in identification and planning of works.

The key activities taken up by WASSAN and the consortium partners towards building participatory planning and implementation of works are:

  • Conducting regular wage labour group meetings at the village level.
  • Supporting the Wage Labour Groups (FLGs and later SSS) in identifying the works in their lands and ensuring their participation, particularly in project mode planning and land inventory processes.
  • Participating in the land inventory process and ensuring that the actual status of the lands of the SC/ST are taken and are included for development
  • Mobilising wage seekers to participate in gram sabha and involving them in identification of works; follow-up with the mandal administration for the implementation of works identified.
  • Training wage labour groups on record maintenance at panchayat level, updating of records.
  • Training wage labour groups on sustainable agricultural practices and other household-level income generating activities such as poultry, dairy, and pisciculture.
  • Bringing to the notice of mandal/district and state level administration the issues related to violation of transparent implementation process.
  • Encouraging job card holders to use the toll-free compliant number in voicing their complaints/grievances.

MPT works in CPR blocks, Anantapur, REDS

MPT works in CPR blocks,
Anantapur, REDS

The mandal and village EGS committees of wage seekers formed in the project mandals rendered great support in planning of works in their respective panchayats, awareness generation on existing and new programs/schemes/ GOs/Circulars under MGNREGS, mobilizing wage seekers to participate in Gram sabha/planning meetings etc. The partner organisations have achieved significant success in identification of works through participatory planning. In the last three years from 2007-08 to 2009-10, they have identified 1,520 works worth Rs 18.90 crore through wage labour groups particularly of small and marginal farmers. Out of that, the partner organizations could ensure completion of 749 works worth Rs 9.30 crore, and around 275 works worth Rs 6.45 crore are under progress. The works are mostly related to resource development and agriculture that include land preparation, land development, silt application, soil and moisture conservation activities, water harvesting structures like check dam, percolation tank, forest conservation, works to conserve and develop commons etc.

Works to renovate tank and excavation of silt, Mogullapally mandal, Warangal, APMSS

Works to renovate tank and excavation of silt,
Mogullapally mandal, Warangal, APMSS

More than 8,500 acres were developed through the completed works of which SC/ST lands account for more than 50%. The development of fallow or less productive assigned lands of SC/ST into productive land was the priority work for the consortium partner organisations. Partner organisations facilitated the process of identifying and development of assigned lands of the poor. There is a significant increase in share of assigned lands brought into cultivation. Of the selected households (mostly SC and ST), the total percent of cultivated land in 2007 is around 13% where as it has increased to around 60% by 2010. Land development works such as bush clearance, deep ploughing, land leveling, tank silt application, contour trenching, pebble bunding, farm bunding, digging of farm ponds, compost pits etc were taken up in these lands to make them productive.

The impact of the work of WASSAN and partners on migration was brought out in a study focussing on 7 villages comparing the status between 2005 (pre-MGNREGA) and 2010. The findings clearly showed that:

  • by 2010, 62% of earlier migrating households of the selected villages had completely stopped migration.
  • Seasonal migration has come down from 75% in 2005 to 30 % in 2010.
  • Continuous migration has also come down from 25 % in 2005 to 8% in 2010.
  • The drastic reduction in number of migrating households by 2010 can be mainly attributed to implementation of MGNREGS in the village, as i89% traditional migrating households are participating in MGNREGS. Across the study villages, household participation in MGNREGS is more than 70%, 

The State Government invited Foundation for Ecological Security to facilitate implementation of MGNREGA in 6 Panchayats of Chittoor district in 2007-2008, on the village common lands. This provided the team an opportunity to demonstrate and extend its integrated natural resource management/watershed development initiatives using NREGS. Based on experience the work on NREGS was further extended to 14 Panchayats in 2008-2009. FES has concentrated on:

  • Mobilization of wage earners and developing partnership towards diversification of livelihood options with respect to land and water
  • Undertaking soil and moisture conservation on common land 
  • Water harvesting structures

  • Afforestation measures on the common land and private lands 
  • Enhancing associated farm based livelihoods options

  • Capacity building of the communities 
  • Undertaking studies and documentation of physical interventions as well as social and economic processes associated with it

  • Action plans worth Rs.4 crores were prepared for these panchayats. These are under implementation and have focussed on integrating priority activities under MGNREGA
Harinath is a marginal farmer in Burujupalli village, which comes in Zunzurpenta R.V. where Foundation for Ecological Security is active. He owned 3.5 acres of agriculture land, which he was not able to cultivate due to ownership-related conflicts. In June 06, he was forced to migrate to nearby town Madanapalle, because of lack of employment where he started working in a wine shop for Rs.50/- a day. The introduction of NREGS-AP in Burujupalli came as a ray of hope for him. In March 07,he along with his wife got work in constructing a supply channel in their own village. They received Rs.80 /- per day – an amount they had never received before for the same or even more labour. MGNREGA employment enabled Harinath’s wife to take a loan of Rs.14,000 from DWCRA promoted Self Help Group to purchase sheep. She is now able to pay the instalments of loan through her own hard earned money.

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