CHURACHANDPUR, May 3 � Introduction of Centrally sponsored schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) has brought changes in the economy of Manipur�s Churachandpur district bordering Mizoram and Myanmar.
�MNREGA has also helped bring back the displaced people of the ethnic clashes in early nineties, to their native villages in the district,� said Deputy Commissioner Lunminthang Haokip.
Thousands of villagers were displaced during the ethnic violence in Manipur, particularly in Churachandpur during 1992-1998. Most of these displaced villagers finally landed in the State capital, about 100 km away from their native villages, for their livelihood. Some worked as casual labourers while others took to pulling rickshaws or selling charcoal.
After the introduction of MNREGA in Churachandpur, the Kuki rickshaw pullers vanished from Imphal town as they started resettling in their respective native villages, Lunminthang added.
Project Officer Joycy Lalrinpui of District Rural Devlopment Agency (DRDA), Churachandpur said that this trend was reported mostly in Thanlon and Henglep blocks of the district. DRDA is a principal organ at the district level to oversee the implementation of different anti-poverty programmes.
Resettlement of villagers were reported in the villages of Henglep, Suangpha, Kolhen, Kamkeilon, Thingkhangjang, Aina, Santing, Molgen, N Molngat, Mualdak, N Saikot, Tuilumjang, Thingken, Vungbuh, Thenjol, Tuikot, Dojang, D Munlei, Damjol, etc.
One can see changes not only in infrastructure development in the villages but also in the improved buying power of the villagers specially in purchase of essential commodities, clearing educational fees for their children, etc., with the daily wages earned, the DRDA official informed. Above all, development of inter-village road and improvement of the drainage systems in the villages are common infrastructure development sights after MNREGA was introduced in the hill district dominated by Kuki-Chin-Mizo communities. Since 2007, a total of 10,434 works were completed but 42 others remained incomplete, official reports said.
However, with the sudden reduction in the funding pattern, the number of working days for villagers has been reduced from 100 to 20 days in the current year even though there are 57,551 job card holders in 818 villages under 10 blocks of the district. Churachandpur was once awarded the national award for the best performing district under MNREGA in the category of �Community mobilisation and participation for livelihood generation� in 2009-10 by the Union Rural Development Ministry on February 2, 2011.