Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana

Learn More About Government Schemes, Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana, Importance, Significance, And Other More Information

The year 2020 marked the beginning of an unprecedented global crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic. India, like many other nations, witnessed a significant economic slowdown and widespread job losses.

Millions of daily wage earners and migrant workers, particularly those in the informal sector, found themselves facing immense hardship due to a lack of work opportunities.

Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana Guide

In response to this crisis, the Government of India launched the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan (GKRA), a crucial intervention aimed at providing much-needed employment and income support to the most vulnerable sections of society.

Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana

The GKRA, also known as the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana, was a short-term economic stimulus program launched in 2020. It functioned under the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and aimed to create rural employment opportunities for migrant workers who had returned to their villages due to the pandemic-induced lockdowns. The program focused on undertaking rural infrastructure projects across the country, providing immediate wage employment to those in need.

Key Features of the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana

  • Focus on Rural Employment: The program specifically targeted rural areas, aiming to provide employment opportunities for returning migrant workers and unemployed individuals from these regions.
  • Demand-Driven Project Selection: Project selection under GKRA prioritized works of immediate utility in villages, such as construction of rural roads, canals, wells, and other public infrastructure assets.
  • Wage Payment and Transparency: The program ensured minimum wages were paid directly to the workers’ bank accounts, promoting transparency and minimizing exploitation.
  • Focus on Livelihood Security: GKRA aimed to provide not just temporary relief but also contribute to long-term livelihood security in rural areas by creating essential infrastructure.
  • Decentralized Implementation: Similar to MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), PRIs (Panchayati Raj Institutions) played a crucial role in planning and implementing GKRA projects at the village level.

Importance and Significance of the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana

The GKRA played a vital role in mitigating the economic hardships caused by the pandemic, particularly for vulnerable sections of society. Here’s a closer look at its significance:

  • Immediate Relief and Income Generation: For millions of unemployed individuals, the program provided a much-needed source of income during a time of crisis. The wages earned helped families meet basic needs and tide over financial difficulties.
  • Stimulating Rural Economy: The focus on rural infrastructure projects not only created employment opportunities but also injected capital into the rural economy, stimulating local businesses and service providers.
  • Asset Creation for Long-Term Benefits: The constructed rural infrastructure assets like roads, wells, and canals continue to benefit communities long after the program’s completion, contributing to improved connectivity, irrigation, and overall rural development.
  • Reverse Migration and Rural Rejuvenation: By providing employment opportunities within their villages, GKRA discouraged distressed migration to urban centers. This helped revitalize rural areas and reduce pressure on urban infrastructure.
  • A Model for Future Crisis Response: The program’s success serves as a valuable model for future crisis situations. The rapid implementation and focus on immediate relief can be adapted for similar scenarios requiring swift economic intervention.

The Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana and eShram: Potential for Long-Term Impact

While the GKRA was a short-term program, it has the potential to create a long-term impact if combined with initiatives like eShram. By registering on the eShram portal, individuals who benefited from GKRA employment can gain access to a wider range of employment opportunities in the future.

Additionally, the eShram database can be utilized to track these individuals and potentially connect them with relevant skill development programs, further enhancing their employability in the long run.

Challenges and Looking Ahead

Despite its success, the GKRA program encountered certain challenges:

  • Limited Project Duration: The program’s short-term nature meant employment opportunities were temporary. Addressing long-term unemployment in rural areas requires a more sustainable approach.
  • Skilling and Employability: While GKRA provided immediate relief, it did not necessarily equip beneficiaries with long-term employability skills. Integrating skill development initiatives with such programs can be beneficial.
  • Reaching Out to the Most Vulnerable: Ensuring equitable access to program benefits for marginalized communities and individuals in remote areas remains an ongoing concern.


The Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana stands as a testament to the government’s commitment to providing social safety nets during times of crisis. The program provided immediate relief and income security to millions of vulnerable individuals during the pandemic.

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