NREGS and child well being
There have been many evaluation studies on the impact of NREGS but there are hardly any systematic studies relating to impact of the scheme on children. This paper tries to fill this gap. There is a huge literature on awareness, implementation problems, impact on the livelihoods, women, migration, agricultural wages, marginalized sections etc. This paper makes use of some of the in-depth studies on various States of India. We have also undertaken a limited focus group discussion in Rajasthan on the implementation and impact of the scheme on women and children. Specifically, the paper addresses the following issues: (a) The pathways in which NREGS affect households and in particular that lead to better outcomes for children (b) Impact on children in terms of changes in child labour patterns - by reducing child labour as a coping strategy of poor households or by - inadvertently - encouraging child labour (c) Changes in expenditure patterns of families based on additional income earned, leading towards greater expenditures on girl and boy children including education, health and nutrition. (d) Impact on women's well-being, empowerment and intra-household decisions (e) Availability of child care facilities at worksites, and coverage of 0-6 age group by these crŠche facilities.
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