Right to Food Campaign: Employment Guarantee Act
Right to Food Campaign

Employment Guarantee Act: Introduction

Introduction| Current Highlights| Key Documents| Tools for Action and Research| Events| Rozgar Updates| Articles| Newsfeeds| Campaign Material| Further Resources| Archives

One of the long-standing demands of the right to food campaign (and of the labour movement in India) is a national "employment guarantee act". This demand was partially met in mid-2005 with the enactment of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA 2005). Under this Act, any adult willing to do casual labour at the minimum wage is entitled to employment on local public works within 15 days, subject to a limit of 100 days per household per year.

The NREGA is a landmark in the history of social security legislation in India - or indeed, anywhere in the world - and promises to be a major tool in the struggle to secure the right to food. However, the path to the NREGA has been far from smooth. It required sustained campaigning on the ground, lobbying with political parties, and overcoming active opposition from votaries of the "minimal state" (see the archives).

Since the enactment of the NREGA, a wide range of organisations across the country have been struggling to ensure that people are able to claim their entitlements under the Act. This section presents reports of these activities as well as a range of tools for further action. Regular "updates" on NREGA-related activities can be found in the updates page (if you would like to receive these updates by email please send a line to rozgar@gmail.com).