Monthly Archives: August 2009

NREGA has been relatively successful in many states in creating a large volume of employment, but critics have pointed out that the quality of projects is often poor. I agree with this assessment and argue that employment tends to be provided since there is a pressure for creating work and paying wages on a timely basis. But there is little pressure for quality from any source, be it administration, social movements or people at large. Unless we get some pressure group for ensuring quality, it is likely that quality of work in NREGA will continue to be poor in the years to come.

Who cares about quality in NREGA?

NREGA presents an unprecedented opportunity for disabled persons across India to earn a living and to showcase their talents. But as things stand, NREGA is not designed for disabled people to participate in it, but we can change it all with some tweaking.

NREGA for the disabled

Mihir Shah argued in a recent article that trained workers should be appointed in each Panchayat if NREGA has to fulfill its promises. While Panchayats need personnel to implement NREGA, I argue that for the purpose of planning it would be better to create nodal agencies that take up planning sound works in a campaign mode.

Will trained workers in Panchayats improve the quality of NREGA?

Rumblings of an ex-activist in his early thirties Why have I ceased to care about the world? Why is my commitment vanishing? Fifteen years ago if I saw blind person struggling to cross the road, I would jump off my bicycle to help him cross, and make a mental note on how I will change public transport. Now I watch my watch and glide away hoping someone will do my job for me. I wonder today if I cared then since I did not have a care in the world. Caring parents, carefree friends and a careless school set the […]

I cared because I did not care

Rumblings of an ex-activist in his early 30s It seems like a short while ago when no dream seemed like just a dream. Making a billion, changing the world, ending poverty, peace and a few such things seemed pedestrian and utterly possible. There was a fire in me to go and be a part of the action, with merely passing doubts about what’s possible. Nothing seemed big, and I wanted to be everywhere. The thirties have come and my dreams have become smaller. A comfortable bed excites me more than a peace march, and jobs more than work. I fear […]

Age is the greatest fire extinguisher