The beginning:

It is a real story of a DEO of a GP. It’s my own. It was mid December 2007. On a pleasant afternoon the peon from my Gram Panchayat was at my house with a letter written in Bengali, which said that I had been chosen for the computer operator job (on contract basis) for which I had earlier applied for. At that time I was in a School in a Bankura village. There I worked as a computer teacher under Teledata Informatics Ltd. Of course there was pressure both from the organization and the environment. So, I had thought that the job of the Panchayat would be better. There was no second thought to accept the proposal.

The Money Matter :

Interestingly I was unaware of the payment system. I was only told that some officials here that it would be better than that. Then there was a decession that I would be paid on a daily wages basis @ Rs. 112.50/day (This was the Semi-Skilled wage rate for NREGA). I never minded on being a semi-skilled with 2 and 1/2 years of experience. I thought that Full Skilled are those guys at Block or District offices who manages the networks, maintain the system, etc. Then I came to know that the Plumbers & Massons are ‘Full Skilled’ persons. Then my struggle began to become a ‘Full Skilled’. In September 2009 I finally became a Full Skilled and my wage was Rs. 162.00/day. But I get nothing for the holidays or my absence. Now from February 2010 it is Rs. 200.00/day. Thats one aspect of the story.

Starting of Confusion : Who Am I ?

Here comes another one. What for I am here and what is my designation? I think that the word ‘I’ should be read as ‘WE’ thereafter. I have no designation. Do I have an Identity? No, I have not any. From my starting day of 10/01/2008 to today I have been called to attend some type of meeting at block office for hardly 4-5 times. At first there was the mention for “Data Entry Operator”, then “DEO”, then “Computer Operator” and the latest said “VLE”…!!! Amazed ?? Thinking that how VLEs got into this arena? I don’t have any answer only the Higher Authority have the answer.

Initial face off with NREGASoft :

In the first days our “Sahayak” had shown me a software running in IE 6 and gave me some files filled with worn & torn forms and asked me to “LOAD” the “Forms” into that. At that time I had no idea of NREGA or Panchayat System. So, seeing some matching fields in both the software and on paper forms I got started. Now I know that I was doing the Registration. Then came the order to input the bank or post office account numbers against their names. Again a wild search began a finally I was able to understand what each field means. Then came the Scheme Entry. Here I experienced the most exiting moment. Struck in a field I called our superior at Block. The problem was that in the offline software page the label for a text box was missing. But the text box carried an asterix (*) mark which means field is mandatory. He was very quick to react with asking my problem from his superiors at the district & state. This answer never came. With my previous knowledge of Database now I keep a well view of the total data base which is used. But this is of no use. Had the guy posted at Block office keep that idea it would be better for the mankind. Database is a far cry he even has little knowledge of Excel. I am not insulting anyone. At least I was in the computer teaching profession for 2.5 years, from that experience I can measure someone. In this period I have heard several times that we will be trained. But all sounds like jokes now. That software even covers the Accounts System for the NREGA Scheme. Thats too handled by some non-trained “Semi” or “Full” Skilled persons. Thats not all now we are getting liable for wrong entry or any MIS related problems.

The pressure started Growing :

From the 1st day of this month the manual system of sending MPRs every month is being abolished. Someone is saying this would increase the importance the computer operators. Is that true? I think thats also a gimmick. Take this into account if a GP spends Rs 1 crore on NREGA then its operator will get something around 40-50K for doing the MIS work. Now take the example of my GP. It has expenses a little more than Rs 31L in the whole 09-10 FY. So here I am to get hardly Rs 20K in the entire year. Isn’t it ridiculous that someone have to work with a lot of LIABILITY and RESPONSIBILITY for just Rs. 1.5 K a month? Why he/she will do so? Is all our so called EMPLOYEEs are doing that. All the other persons who works here earns at least Rs. 13 K a month. Has he the little work or responsibility that I have? I am betting he hasn’t. You may ask why from MIS to officials? The answer is simple…..Skip the LIABILITY to those idiot computer operators, who are ready do anything for their bread and butter.
(If you have read this please leave a comment)

Subhrapratim De is a Data Entry Operator (DEO/VLE) under MGNREGA Scheme. He is working at the ground level (Gram Panchayat) since 2008 in West Bengal. He has strong background knowledge of computer system, network and operating system. He has knowledge of programming and databases too. Lastly he is a part time blogger.

  1. খুবই সুন্দর বিচার বিবেচনার ফসল তোমার এই লেখাটি দারুন ভাল লাগল- আমার নিজের জীবণের সংগে মিলে গেল…

  2. Reply
    Md Sohail Akhter May 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I am not ready do such job.

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DEO West Bengal