The rural areas are highly prone to stress and pressures from natural resource exploitation. In this context, schemes for rural development and livelihood programmes are very relevant. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India (MGNREGS), with a budgetary annual allocation of about INR 347 billion (USD 5.5 billion) in 2015-16, aims at enhancing livelihood in the rural areas. A vast majority of works under this programme aim at strengthening natural resource base of the rural economy and are linked to land, soil, and water.


Another important programme of the Government is the National Rural Livelihoods Mission which has the objective to cover 70 million rural poor households, across 600,000 villages in the country through self-managed self help groups and federated institutions to support the rural communities in strengthening their livelihood.


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