2 Feb :The NREGA Sammelan was held on Monday in New Delhi on the completion of three years of the launch of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
The sammelan was presided by Dr.Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Minister for Rural Development.Speaking on the occasion the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi hailed the scheme and said that rural development is vital for country’s progress.
The Chief Guest, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that NREGA has empowered the rural poor and given them opportunity to realise their potential.
Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said that NREGA has been a very successful scheme of central government and it has benefitted all sections of society including women.
"But the UPA government has proved the critics wrong by its successful implementation," she said describing NREGA as one of the world’s best schemes.
Speaking at the function, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee described the NREGA Act as a "path breaking legislation" and a realisation of UPA’s commitment to inclusive growth.
Mukherjee claimed that the scheme has ensured livelihood security and employment guarantee to the "aam aadmi".
"NREGA has guaranteed the poor employment ensuring two square meals a day and provided them support to move out of the poverty trap," he said, adding, "through NREGA the government has infused a new strength in institutions of grassroots democracy".
The External Affairs Minister noted that the poorest of the poor and most vulnerable groups seek employment under NREGA, saying "the participation of SC and ST is more than 55 per cent and near equal participation of women work force".
The minister thanked Gandhi for her "untiring leadership" in ensuring the passing of the Act by Parliament.
"Her deep commitment and empathy for the underprivileged made it possible for the UPA government to fulfill a sacred promise to the people of India," he said.
Touching on the issue of global meltdown, Mukherjee said that creation and retention of employment are top priorities of the UPA government.
Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh admitted that there could be some shortcomings in implementing the scheme in some states but it has opened new vistas of development.