The government’s decision to hike MGNREGA salary by 5 Rs has been squarely rejected by the rural populace of India. 300 families from Jharkhand have gone on to return Rs 5 they received to the Prime Minister, they have donated their small annual wage increase to prime minister Narendra Modi. The workers attached five rupee notes to a letter addressed to the prime minister that was posted on May Day.
The aggrieved workers chose the ‘May Day’ popularly known as Labour Day in order to make the step loud and clear.
“We feel that you need the extra five rupees more than we do, since your Government has so many expenses. To implement the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, you will have to spend an additional Rs 1 lakh crore at least on salaries and pensions of Government employees. Defence expenditure is about Rs 2.5 lakh crore. You must also be spending a lot of money on tax concessions for big companies, aside from giving them cheap land and other resources,” reads the mocking communiqué as reported by dailypioneer
So why are people angry about it?
Drought – The meagre salary hike in the backdrop of one of the most severe drought India had faced in recent years has not gone down well with the rural population. Rural India is in deep distress due to the drought, price rise, failure of crops and debts. MGNREGA wages could have softened the blow, however, the 5 Rs hike has only infuriated them.
Minimum Wage – The MGNREGA wages do not match the minimum wages as stipulated in the laws of every state. A committee headed by economist Mahendra Dev on the revision of rural job scheme wage rates in 2014 had recommended that workers should be paid at least the state minimum wage. The report is yet to be implemented.
MGNREGA is a scheme which has served as a socio-economic booster for rural economy of India.
The Logical Indian requests the government to give high priority to the wages of MNREGA given the hugely distressful time the rural population is in due to drought and debts.
Women empowerment is one of the most important words of the present times. It is not a mere phrase but it rather represents a movement, which has been pending for the longest time. However, many have a misconception that educating women, “letting” them work, etc. is all that women empowerment is all about. However, the concept of women empowerment is more of an umbrella term. It intends to involve society as a whole, including men.
We always encourage and applaud a woman who successfully balances both work life and her household. But won’t it be easy for that woman if the load of the work is shared? We see that in our society a woman’s primary role is seen as that of a homemaker. At the same time, her personal likes, aspirations, and dreams are forced to be put on the backburner because of the undue expectation that she has to single handedly manage the household while balancing her career. To give credit where it is due, the times are changing. Men and women of the house are increasingly sharing the workload. However, one can also not turn a blind to the fact that a lot more still needs to be done.
Driving home the same concept, popular brand Ariel has come up with brilliant communication.
The video shows a mother speaking to her married daughter over the phone, all whilst cleaning the mess her son has created. She is absolutely heartbroken when her daughter says that she plans to quit her job since juggling both a demanding job and her household has become too overwhelming. It is during this time that she realises that while she and her husband as parents left no stone unturned to give an all-round upbringing to their daughter, they somewhere forgot to teach their son some basic life skills like cooking and doing laundry so that they grow out to be equally responsible in doing household chores. This is not a story of just one family, but of families across the country. These are some things which everyone must know, not for any other reason, but simply because these are basic tasks which are absolutely essential to survive. And, they make you capable to be equal partners tomorrow!
As Ariel raises an important question-is household work only a woman’s job? We need to ask ourselves the same question. A recent study revealed that the unpaid work done by women around the world amounted to 43 times the annual turnover of Apple Inc. It is high time we share the load and change the narrative that household work is the “duty” of a woman. As the video shows, contributing to the household work is not only a daughter’s work, but the son must contribute his bit too. It is also important for the parents to instil a sense of responsibility in their children, irrespective of their gender so that at any juncture of their lives, they are not completely dependent on another person for basic tasks like these. Ariel has been consistently driving this message and addressing the inequality within households since 2015. The Logical Indian applauds Ariel for coming up with such a brilliant video for depicting such an important concept.