Giriraj Singh felicitates 75 trained candidates of Project UNNATI under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA

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Union Minister of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Giriraj Singh felicitated 75 trained candidates of Project UNNATI under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA today (24th March 2022) at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi as part of the celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.  Along with 75 Trained Candidates of Project UNNATI, the Minister also felicitated Bankers associated with RSETI of States/UTs, who have contributed towards the successful completion of training of Project UNNATI candidates and shown them a new skilled way of earning.

Motivating the trained candidates under the project UNNATI, the Minister said “Rural women have the talent & expertise required for livelihoods like beekeeping, dairy farming, organic composting, etc. They just need a little handholding from us.” He emphasized that 20% of active workers’ households of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA should get training under the skilling and livelihoods programme of this Ministry.

Addressing the felicitation ceremony, Shri Giriraj Singh said that the government is focusing on complete transparency in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi NREG scheme. For this, the Ministry is taking various initiatives. In order to ensure the same, as an interim measure, it has been decided that presence of ombudspersons in at least 80% districts would be insisted as a precondition for the approval of the Annual Action Plant and Labour Budget for FY 2022-2023 under Mahatma Gandhi NREGS. The Minister also said that because of various interventions by the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today, every Mahatma Gandhi NREGA cardholder is receiving money directly in their respective bank accounts. People are able to take care of their families well. Women’s participation is also increased to more than 53%.

Union Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste said that after training under project Unnati, when people go back to their respective places, their experience is also dispersed to different areas of the country across various services, ensuring the nation’s holistic development.

Union Minister of State for Rural Development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said that she feels extremely happy when she asked someone in the rural area about their training and they mentioned project UNNATI or RSETI. Praising the project UNNATI, she said that because of such initiatives a poor rural woman becomes capable of speaking in front of thousands of people.

Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Shri Kapil Patil said that project UNNATI  is improving the livelihoods of the neediest Mahatma Gandhi NREGA beneficiaries by providing a skill, either for self-employment or wage employment.

The trained candidates shared about how Project UNNATI training brought positive changes in their lives and gave them a new sustainable livelihood opportunity to lead their lives. Sharing her experience, Smt. Mira Yadav, a beneficiary from Madhya Pradesh mentioned how she learnt dairy farming under the project and is now earning ₹10,000-₹15,000 per month which goes up to ₹18,000 sometimes as well.

Speaking on Project UNNATI, Secretary Rural Development, Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha said that the whole purpose of the project is to connect the rural people to various available livelihood opportunities and lead them to self-reliance and sustainable development. He said a total of 2,00,000 beneficiaries shall be imparted training under this project in a span of three years in 26 States and 2 UTs. COVID-19 pandemic has affected the pace of training. Now Rural Skill Division and Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Division is taking every step to achieve the target. The training period has been extended for another 6 months.

Secretary further informed that under “Azadi ka Mahotsav”, so far 77,683 events have been organised under Mahatma Gandhi NREGS  and more than 12 lakh beneficiaries of the scheme, as well as more than 2 lakh Peoples’ representatives of different levels, have participated in the Mahotsav.

Joint Secretary (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA) Shri Rohit Kumar shared the theme of the event and highlighted Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and Project UNNATI. The senior officers from the Ministry, all the States/UTs, as well as Banks and NPCI, were also present on the occasion.

About Project ‘UNNATI’

Project ‘UNNATI’, as a skilling project intends to upgrade the skill base of the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA beneficiaries, and thereby improving their livelihoods, so that they can move from the current partial employment to full-time employment and hence reduce their dependence on Mahatma Gandhi NREGS.

This project is meant for providing training for one adult member (of age 18-45 years old) of a household who has completed 100 days of work under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA in the previous financial year from the year of commencement of the project. The household from which, candidates are selected for the training, are continuing to enjoy 100 days of work under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.

The candidate undergoing training are paid a stipend for a maximum period of 100 days and for one program per household as per the wage rate prevailing in the concerned State/UT as per the provisions of the project. Full expenditures towards a stipend, against wage loss compensation, are entirely borne by Central Government.

As of now, a total of 2,00,000 beneficiaries shall be imparted training under this project in a span of three years in 26 States and 2 UTs. A total number of 18,166 candidates have been trained under Project UNNATI.