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MGNREG WORKERS TO HELP DRDA WEAVE FRONDS FOR ROOFLESS

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Nagapattinam: In a kind gesture, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREG) workers will help the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) officials to weave coconut fronds  for the residents who lost their thatched roofing following the Gaja onslaught in Nagapattinam district.

Handlooms and textile minister O S Manian gave the necessary instruction to DRDA officials, asking them to make use of MGNREG service for restorations works even as the villagers are still struggling to rebuild life after the devastating Gaja.

While many have begun restoring their houses spending from their own pockets, expecting the government to recompense them later, those not so lucky are forced to live under their roofless shelters, in the hope of seeing immediate government intervention.

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As per the revenue department figures, the cyclone has brought about a destruction worth 1.20 lakh to houses and uprooted 60 lakh coconut trees in Nagapattinam. On one side the Gaja has destroyed lakhs of coconut trees and on the other, hundreds of people, such as destitute senior citizens and widows, are facing an uphill task to rebuild without money to buy coconut leaves.

Farmers, who have lost lakhs of trees, started piling up the coconut trees without knowing how to properly dispose of them. Seeing this, Minister O S Manian asked people from all quarters, including MLAs, to help the needy people to attain comprehensive benefits.

The minster asked DRDA officials, who have been executing the 100-day employment programme, to use their workers to weave coconut fronds after obtaining the leaves from the coconut farmers. Once the weaving is done, the folded leaves would be distributed to the needy.

For this to be a success, they would have to cough up Rs 800 per bundle (hundred number of leaves), said Manian. “Volunteers have identified some needy people and they will buy the leaves and hand them over to the destitute people” the minister said.

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