Sneha Kaushal is a rural development professional embedded within the State Project management unit set up under High Impact Mega Watershed Project in Chhattisgarh. She is linked with PRADAN and has experience of working with rural communities on livelihoods and MGNREGA. She was previously associated with the Aspirational District Program at NITI Aayog.
Recognizing the importance of having a perennial source of water when planning any agricultural activity and change, the SHG women of Kelaur, supported by PRADAN and government departments, installed solar energy-powered water pumps, leading them to cultivating vegetables and fruit in their homesteads, which brought about a sea change in their economic status and self-sufficiency
Using the provisions under MGNREGA to gainfully engage the thousands of migrant labour, who are fleeing big cities and returning to their villages, is a productive way to turn the global crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity for creating assets that support rural livelihoods and lead to self-sufficiency.