New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan on Saturday, to boost employment and livelihood opportunities for migrant workers returning to villages, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The abhiyaan has been launched in 116 districts across six states including four districts of Odisha – Ganjam, Balasore, Bolangir and Bhadrak.
PM Modi started his address by remembering the sacrifice of our martyrs. “Everyone is proud of Bihar Regiment’s valour. Each and every Bihari is very proud of it.”.
PM Modi said, “India is a country with more than six lakh villages, where more than two-thirds of its population, about 80-85 crore, lives. Rural India has effectively prevented the spread of infection. This population is even more than that of all the countries of Europe.”
Modi further added, “The country understands your emotions as well as your needs. Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan starting from Khagaria, Bihar is a major tool to fulfil that very need.”
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said through a video conference, “During the lockdown, I interacted through video conference with labourers in different districts after they returned to the state. I realised that they don’t want to go elsewhere for work”.
The migrant crisis emerged as a political headache for the BJP-JDU combine in the state which will go to polls later this year. This scheme is expected to address much of its socio-economic concerns. At least 25,000 migrant workers who returned home during the pandemic will benefit in states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha. UP and Bihar took the bulk of the load of the reverse migration.
The scheme will involve intensified implementation of 25 different types of works which in turn will create rural infrastructure. He also mentioned about the investment of Rs 1 lakh crore for building cold storage facilities to preserve agricultural produce. He also urged them to wear masks and maintain basic hygiene while going to work.