However, as is the perennial problem in this country with most development schemes, there are many a slip between the cup and the lip. Consequently, the average number of days worked by people actually working is only about thirty or so and if the average is worked out on the total number of people eligible to work then it is less than twenty days. Additionally the workers do not get paid on time and sometimes the year turns round before payments are made. Then there are many ingenious ways in which funds are siphoned off. So in the end throughout the country except for a few states the partial right to work is a non-starter. Madhya Pradesh is one of the worst offenders in this respect.
The KMCS has from the inception of the MGNREGA waged a consistent battle to get it implemented as it does provide susbtantial income and natural resource support to the poor Adivasis. Getting work sanctioned, implemented and then getting the payments made while ensuring that no leakage takes place has become a routine year in and year out. In the face of stiff resistance from the administration the KMCS has succeeded in getting work done consistently over the years. Every year there are many success stories. This year's exceptional and inspirational success story is from the village of Dudhvi.
The KMCS activists held a meeting in Dudhvi and told the people there that they could construct field bunds on their farms to conserve soil and water and get paid for it under the MGNREGA. For this they would have to fill the forms demanding work, attach records of the landholdings and submit them to the Panchayat Secretary and the Sarpanch. Immediately the trouble started. The Sarpanch, who resides in the other village which is part of this Panchayat, Karajvani, and the Panchayat Secretary visited the village and told the people that they had no right to demand work and it was their prerogative to decide where to start work and when. The people would face dire consequences if they tried to strike a path of their own. After this the KMCS visited Dudhvi again to be met with indifference by the people who said that they did not want to get into any trouble with the Government by demanding work. After much coaxing they agreed to fill the forms and these were then submitted directly to the Janpad Panchayat with the complaint that the Sarpanch and the Panchayat Secretary were refusing to open any work in Dudhvi village.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Janpad called the Panchayat Secretary and gave him a dressing down and ordered the engineer to go to Dudhvi village and survey the land and prepare a project for immediate implementation. The result was that the work was started and both men and women began working on the field bunds by bringing stones from the forests and gullies as shown below -