Gujarat Villagers Use Social Media To Seek Jobs Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Gujarat: A group of 35,000 members of Gujarat’s Sabarkanta district has started applying for work or demanding unemployment allowance from the authorities via social media platforms under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

The initiative has been taken up by NREGA Workers Union from across seven districts of North and Central Gujarat. Till now, 26 villagers have submitted their applications to the concerned authorities of the district.

Due to the nationwide lockdown, the workers could not apply for work under the MNREGA scheme. “MNREGA gives guarantee of employment to the rural population for at least 100 days in a year. Due to the lockdown, a number of people from rural areas have been rendered jobless. Moreover, a number of migrants have also returned to their homes in rural areas. In such a situation, they require work (for survival),” general secretary of the group, Paulomee Mistry was quoted saying by the Indian Express.

The villagers are tagging the social media handles of chief ministers, deputy chief ministers and other concerned authorities seeking unemployment allowance in case they are not given work in 15 days as per the scheme guidelines.

Supporting the cause, people from nearby districts are also planning to apply for jobs on social media platforms.

Meanwhile, the district authorities called this as an extraordinary situation and are awaiting instructions from the higher authorities.

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