Are Grama Volunteers political workers?

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The much-talked about Grama Volunteers system has started in AP today. There are still many doubts whether these can be called government jobs. The honorary payment is just Rs. 5,000 per month. For this, they are recruited through interviews. In the name itself, it is indicated that a volunteer job is to provide their services with a service motto. Amid such discussions, CM Jaganmohan Reddy has made a statement that sparked a lot of negative speculation in political circles.

Jagan has said that he will make efficient volunteers future leaders in his party. This is being objected to considering the need for bringing accountability and transparency in their functioning. These Volunteers are supposed to deliver welfare benefits and services to the beneficiaries. Each Volunteer has to take care of 50 households.

These Volunteers services have assumed a lot of significance in view of their crucial role at the village and ward levels. Moreover, all the Navaratnalu welfare cash transfer programmes have to be implemented through them at micro level. There are concerns that any irregularities and corruption on the part of Volunteers will bring bad reputation to the government and the ruling party. Such fears obviously forced the CM to motivate them to do selfless service. But field level politics are sure to pollute Volunteers system as days pass by.

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