In light of drought-like conditions in many districts of western Odisha and distress migration of labourers appearing imminent, the government is trying to improve the average number of days of employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) — from 38 to 65 days. The government has decided to mobilise all active job-card holders to form informal groups, which will be called ‘Shramik Sangh’. There will be one such group for every 50 beneficiaries in each revenue village.The move is aimed at ensuring job for each active card holder through close coordination with government officials at the block level. One member in each group will be assigned as a ‘mate’ and will be responsible for providing jobs to others in the sangh.“With a mandate to arrest migration and ensure effective convergence for sustainable livelihood development… we must relook at strategy for implementation [of MGNREGS]. We need to focus on active job-card holders and provide them at minimum average 70 days of wage employment,” wrote Panchayati Raj secretary D.K. Singh in a letter to all collectors.Mr. Singh said that work participation needs to be raised from 33% to 65%, and average number of days of employment from 38 days to 65 days. All collectors have been asked to ensure formation of Shramik Sangh, selection of mates, their training and meeting with government officials between August 20 and 25.Welfare schemesThe government has also announced that it will include card holders in welfare schemes and skill upgradation schemes; and extend insurance coverage and other economic benefits to them.In the past few years, the government has floated several strategies to arrest distress migration from Odisha’s poverty-stricken districts. A few years ago, entitlement of employment was increased from 100 days to 150 in migration-prone blocks. “While the entitlement of employment is 100-150 days, the government is now focusing only on 70 days. The scheme says whoever demands unskilled work will be provided. There cannot be a selective target. There is also no strategy to end late payment of wages. Delay in payment is one of the key factors in people distancing themselves from MGNREGS,” said Umi Daniel, an expert on migration issues.“To arrest seasonal migration, there should be seasonal targets for providing employment during lean period such as drought, which is looming over Odisha,” he said, adding that even 10 years after MGNREGS, Odisha was struggling to provide average 38 days of employment.
Van Duc was again the provider, pulling the ball back for Duc Huy who slipped as he met the ball with his left foot but saw his effort from 25 metres fly past goalkeeper Farizal Marlias.Malaysia cut the deficit in the 36th minute when Syamer Kutty Abba’s free kick from the left found Shahrul, who headed powerfully past Van Lam.The home side then got back on level terms on the hour when they were awarded a free kick on the right edge of the box and Safawi curled a magnificent shot into the far corner of the net.The home side had a final chance to win the game in stoppage time with a free-kick by substitute Syafiq that went through the Vietnamese wall but was punched clear by an alert Van Lam.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño MOST READ Vietnam goalkeeper Dang Van Lam made a fine save in stoppage time to deny Syafiq Ahmad and keep the score level ahead of the second leg in Hanoi this Saturday.Malaysia exerted much of the early pressure in front of a capacity crowd of more than 87,000 but Vietnam took the lead after 22 minutes following a swift counter-attack.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefDoan Van Hau lofted the ball into space on the right for Phan Van Duc whose cross towards Duc Huy was cut off by Nazirul Naim but fell nicely for Huy Hung to tuck the ball into the net.The home side hardly had time to recover before Vietnam scored again three minutes later. Vietnam’s forward Nguyen Cong Phuong controls the ball duirng the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 final football match between Malaysia and Vietnam at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on December 11, 2018. (Photo by Mohd RASFAN / AFP)Malaysia came from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Vietnam in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup final at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Tuesday.Goals by Nguyen Huy Hung and Pham Duc Huy midway through the first half put the visitors in charge but Shahrul Saad halved the deficit before Safawi Rasid converted a stunning free-kick on the hour mark to restore parity for the home side.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Stephen Curry’s moon theory leaves NASA baffled Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue