For providing jobs to rural people in Nainital, the district administration has issued a WhatsApp number on which people can directly apply to work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA). As informed by the chief development officer (CDO) of Nainital district, Sandeep Tiwari, he took this initiative to provide job opportunities to the migrants under MNREGA who returned to their villages in the district due to Covid-19 but are currently unemployed. On being asked why the administration has to issue a WhatsApp number to get applications for MNREGA, Tiwari said that this initiative will minimise the time of contact between applicants and officials during the pandemic. Also, many people use a middle man to get the job under this act due to which many fail to get the work but with this initiative, they get to approach the administration directly, informed the CDO.
He added, "Many block officers and Gram Pradhans do not start projects under MNREGA on time and fail to provide the job under the act within 15 days which is mandatory as per the rules. If the administration gets direct applications from people of rural areas, officials will be under pressure to start the work on time in their respective areas."
Adults of rural areas of Nainital who wish to work under MNREGA can send their applications on mobile number 7906999766 through WhatsApp. The block development officers (BDOs) will verify the applications and then eligible applicants will be approached by the officials, informed the CDO.
It is pertinent to mention here that under MNREGA, residents of rural areas above 18 years are provided with a minimum of 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year under which they do unskilled manual work.