28 April 2023
RoundGlass Foundation is creating employment opportunities under the government’s MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) programme. RoundGlass Foundation has engaged more than 7,000 MGNREGA workers in Punjab since 2018 through two of its on-ground programmes – Plant for Punjab and Waste Management. About 70-75 per cent of these MGNREGA workers are women who are involved in improving Punjab’s green cover and sanitation. MGNREGA is a highly successful rural development programme.
Plant for Punjab engages 1 person for every 200 saplings planted
RoundGlass Foundation’s Plant for Punjab programme promotes responsible environmental practices and care for biodiversity, creates germ-plasm conservation banks, and reduces carbon output, protecting against future ecological degradation. Under the Plant for Punjab programme, Foundation has engaged about 5,500 MGNREGA workers and planted more than 11 lakh native trees in Punjab since 2018, creating 857 mini forests in 1,025 villages in Punjab.
For tree plantation, the Foundation needs labour for site clearance, digging of pits, and maintenance and care of each sapling. For each mini forest, the Foundation generates employment opportunities under the government’s Van Mitr Scheme, by engaging 1 person to take care of 200 saplings. “For creating mini forest, we involve MGNREGA labour for maintenance work,” says Vishal Chowla, Leader, RoundGlass Foundation. “By planting mini forests, RoundGlass Foundation is generating livelihoods for the local communities as well as taking care of the environment,” Chowla adds.
Jasprit Kaur’s life has completely changed since she started working at a mini forest planted by RoundGlass Foundation in Kapiyal village. “This opportunity has provided me and my family with much-needed financial security. My two children can continue their primary education and I am happy that my work is also contributing to the greening of the land,” says Kaur.
Waste Managemet engages 10-15 people in each village
About 2,000 MGNREGA workers have been allocated to work on Foundation’s Waste Management programme since 2020. The Waste Management programme promotes decentralized waste segregation and composting model for efficient, cost-effective, sustainable waste management in rural settings. “Under our Waste Management programme, we use MGNREGA labour for the construction of compost pits at the village level. In each village, 10 to 15 people are engaged for 20 to 25 days for the creation of a compost facility,” says Chowla. The Foundation has supported the setting up of waste management units in 140 villages so far.
What is MGNREGA?
MGNREGA is the government’s flagship social security programme, launched in 2006. Its mandate is to provide at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. The overarching objectives of this scheme are to:
· Provide 100 days of guaranteed wage employment to rural unskilled labour.
· Increase economic security.
· Decrease migration of labour from rural to urban areas.
In FY 2022-23, 113.7 million households were employed under MGNREGA, while a total of 2.89 billion person-days of employment were generated, as per the Ministry of Rural Development. In Punjab, 27.81 lakh workers are employed under MGNREGA as per the latest figures.
Creating a greener and more sustainable Punjab
RoundGlass Foundation is on a mission to plant 1 billion trees in Punjab. RoundGlass Foundation has planted more than 10 lakh trees as of 2022 and aims to plant another 20 lakh trees in 2023. “Our mission is to regreen Punjab by planting 1 billion trees to improve the quality of air, soil and water for the people,” says Chowla.
RoundGlass Foundation is committed to improving the wellbeing of every individual and community in Punjab through its various on-ground programmes that are creating a positive impact in the following four areas: a) children’s education b) promoting wellbeing through sports c) women’s empowerment d) environment, sanitation and livelihood generation. Its on-ground programmes have impacted 1,586 villages in 24 districts of Punjab.