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Job card holders guaranteed only 13 days under MGNREGS, not improving living conditions: Tousem villagers
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 24 2019: Claiming that employment has been granted to poor job card holders in Tousem villages for only 13 days in a year, although a job card holder is guaranteed 100 days of wage/employment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), villagers of Tousem have urged the authorities concerned to guarantee the said number of days and respect the rights of the poor villagers.

The villagers have further claimed that working for only 13 days a year have not, in any way, improved their living conditions.

Speaking to The Sangai Express, Tousem Khunou village authority chairman Ajon Jenme (50) said that Villagers of Tousem Khunou and Tousem Khullen under Tousem sub-division, which is one of the remote areas of the State, have been working only for 13 days despite what is mentioned in the MGNREGS, till date.

He said that the poor villagers would be more than blessed to get employed for 100 days as it will help them maintain their families.



Job card holders guaranteed only 13 days under MGNREGS, not improving living conditions: Tousem villagers
Job card holders guaranteed only 13 days under MGNREGS, not improving living conditions: Tousem villagers


Earlier, the daily wage under the said scheme was Rs 150, he said and added that now, the job card holders get Rs 200 per day.

He further stated that the job cars holders have to travel all the way to Tamenglong HQs (40 km far) to withdraw their money/wage as there was no bank branch/ office in Tousem area.

The chairman continued that, the construction of a building which is supposed to be a bank office started some years back.

However, the constructed work has been halted for a long time now.

Maintaining that the officials frequently visited the construction site before, he said that the officials stopped visiting owing to the dilapidated condition of the road leading to Tousem.

Although the road along Tousem was motorable before, with the change in time and the lack of State Government's attention, the road is now filled with potholes and can turn really muddy during the rainy seasons, the chairman decried.

The villagers have to pass through the pathetic road everytime they want to visit the headquarters or other places.

When the local MLA was visiting Tousem villages, he even had to turn back halfway due to the condition of the road.

The chairman maintained that dignitaries are often choppered in whenever they visit Tousem to attend special occasions or festivals but it is rather unfortunate that they fail to show up when it comes to inspect insufficiencies in the area.

Another impact of the dilapidated road is that the villagers have to cook using firewood as transporting cylinders along the road is tricky, he said.

There are some villagers who benefit from the Ujjwala scheme but the villagers do not bring up the scheme after learning the condition of the road, he remarked.

Regarding power supply in the area, the chairman informed that the villages have not received any power since the notification issued by MSPDCL on August 14, notifying power shutdown in Tousem to repair electrical line along the area.

The villages have been facing power outage since mid August and notably, the power sub-station is located in Tousem Khunou, he claimed.

On the other hand, the sole water supply tank in Tousem Khullen cannot provide proper water supply to Tousem Khunou.

As such, the villagers opt for rain water harvesting and utilise water from the streams.

The chairman said that the Forest department provides the villagers with tree saplings and there have been some tree plantation drives too.

When it comes to health facilities, the chairman said that there is one Primary health Centre for Tousem Khunou and Khullen with the presence of two doctors and four nurses, he said and added that there is not a single pharmacy in Tousem to purchase the medicines recommended by the doctors, which is unfortunate.

He maintained that it would be rather helpful to the villagers as well as the medical staff if there is a pharmacy in the area.

The villagers had to get the CMHT card by themselves, he said and explained that the actual number of people holding the card is unknown.

In the education sector, the Tousem Government High School has classes from 1 to 10 with a total strength of 300 students and five teachers.

The insufficiency of teacher has always been a problem, he said and appealed to the State Government to provide the required number of teachers.

Meanwhile, there are 20 students reading in the Government Primary School and two teachers.

The State Government should focus on the lack of proper infrastructure at Government schools and fulfil the needs for the welfare of the villagers.

The total population of Tousem Khunou is 1200 with 180 clans and 666 voters while the total population of Tousem Khullen is 1000 with 170 clans and 635 voters, he said.

The road to Tamenglong is 40 kms but the road leading to Assam border is only five kms.

As such, the villagers conduct their trade and business at Assam, most of the time.

The chairman appealed to the State Government to repair the Tousem road similar to the renovation of Jiri road, for the welfare of the villagers.


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