What do you do when you get a Rs. 5 hike? If you have an option, you would certainly return the amount to your employer, possibly saying a few things in not-so-pleasant language. That's exactly what hundreds of workers from Manika in Jharkhand, employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) did. Well, almost.
The Centre, taking into consideration, the drought-like condition prevailing in the state, hiked the daily wages of NREGA workers from Rs. 162 to Rs. 167. This did not go down well with the workers as the minimum wage offered to a worker in the state is Rs. 212.
They decided to register their protest in a unique way. On May 1, on the occasion of Labour Day, they sent envelopes with Rs. 5 notes to the Prime Minister saying they can do without the 'generosity' of the government, according to media reports.
In a note reeking with sarcasm, they said they consider themselves to be lucky that the Centre considered them eligible for the hike, adding that the government must be in a very pitiable condition financially as it is not able to increase the wages of NREGA workers in a state where people are affected by scarcity of water.