All work and no pay

All work and no pay

Case Studies: Andhra Pradesh

 “I am part of a group of 17 members but I have received no wages,” Balamani said. She is not the only one who toiled digging bedrock to make a pacca road leading to the nearby Ranga Reddy district in the blistering summer sun; 80 others belonging to four groups have not got wages for six weeks .

Buchamma, also from Konapur, agrees the work provided by the government helped them earn good money during the slack summer months. ”Most of us used to travel to near by Karnataka or Maharashtra in search of summer time work leaving our children with our elders. Now we stay back,” she said. But Buchamma and others from her family are in agonizing wait for the wages promised under the Act.  Buchamma is not even aware how much is her due. “I think the government pays Rs 80 or Rs 100 a day,” she added.

Papaiah Sangepu of Srisaila is working in the road widening group. “The supervisor should provide shelter for the mothers so that they can take care of their infants, they also should provide us drinking water, but they are asking us to bring our own drinking water,” he complained. However their head supervisor Veeranna intervened and said that the government is paying an extra Rs 3 per person for drinking water and each worker under the MGNREGA gets Rs 125 as per the Act.

Field assistant Prabhakar, overseeing work in Kondapur mandal of semi-arid Medak district, marks the muster with the help of e-muster on his mobile phone, which helps him send the roll in real time to the central server at district headquarters in Sangareddy. “I don’t know why no one is coming from headquarters to pay wages pending for almost a month,” he rued. However, he pacified the workers saying, “You will be paid lump sum.”

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