Monday, June 26, 2006

Anjalidi is sitting in the middle with us at Mathurapur, June 3 2006
Today Anjalidi called me. And I was surprised. She is a member of the local administration i.e. the local panchayat in Mathurapur block 2. She is the head of the departments of education, culture and sports. It was a surprise because generally Anjalidi remains very busy throughout the year. When asked how she is, she replied " janoto di' ekhon khub kaj hochhe ekhane, tai niye ei kodin byasto chhilam..." - the pressure of work has increased and she was very busy. Still, she found out time to try to call me and other "dada"s i.e. Ritesh, Rahul, Debamitro several times, but couldn't get anyone except me due to the bad connection.

It feels good when a person from whom you never expected that he/she would remember you remembers you and calls you. I asked her about the NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) in her block. The district of South 24 Parganas falls under this act. According to it a person who registers with the local panchayat or the village 'samsad' (there are a few criteria for the registration process) will get 100 days' job at Rs 68 per day. And if the local panchayat or the village samsad isn't able to provide him with any job then he will get unemployment allowance. Currently the job cards are being distributed over there. But when we had gone to the visit we didn't hear of any such thing from the villagers and we had visited nearly 9 vilages. So who are getting these facilities? Is this again the same case like that of ration cards? Those who really need the money won't they get it? I don't know. But what I do know is that the government has alloted a big sum for this act and it would be pity and a failure of the goverment if the money doesn't reach the proper hands.

26 June 2006.

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