With the novel coronavirus plaguing our life, the government of India introduced lockdown in a phased manner to curb the spread and transmission of COVID 19. The first lockdown was announced at a 2 day notice wherein every aspect of life was put to a halt and the ones most affected by it was the groups at the margins of society i.e migrant workers, women, children, construction workers, etc. Such forced lockdown made it mandatory for the migrant workers to return to their home state so that they can be tested and quarantined. With no income for over 40 days, the migrant workers were empty-handed when they returned home and the rate of unemployment increased abruptly. To cushion the incompetency of the union government’s hollow decisions and lack of a stable income source, the state chief minister Hemant Soren of Jharkhand has introduced 3 schemes one of which is NPJSY.The scheme was introduced in May 2020across 4000 Panchayats to generate employment opportunities, strengthen the rural economy and to protect &preserve community assets like water, land, etc.
The main objectives of the scheme are as follows:
- Construction of various infrastructures of water conservation
- The goal of keeping farm water within the field.
- Increase in the state’s annual water conservation capacity so that it can hold 5 lakh crore liter of rainwater.
- Creation of 10 crore man-days under MGNREGA
- Upgrading and development of 5 lakh crore barren land into cultivable one
In simple terms Jharkhand is drought-prone, the level of groundwater is low and the acreage of barren land is comparatively higher than existing fertile lands. In order to combat that primary importance is given to water conservation, groundwater recharge, and creating agro-water storage units to arrest rainwater from flowing away in individual and collective farms. First Loose Boulder Check Dams&Trench cum Bund has been constructed near the hills esp in districts like Latehar, Garhwa, and Palamu to control the free flow of rainwater, increase groundwater levels, and conserve rainwater. Second more barren land has become greener which is now eligible for farming. Third, reviving and boosting the rural economy has been possible.
The result of the scheme is noticeable in 2021, wherein both water-related and employment generation problem has been effectively resolved.