ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Manual Labour and Growth

In their response to my critique of their article on Direct Cash Transfers, Kapur, Mukhopadhyay and Subramanian (EPW, 22 November 2008; henceforth KMS), state “The thought that durable infrastructure can be built largely by manual labour would be amusing, if it were not irresponsible” (p 87). Statements such as these are sadly commonplace, sometimes even among proponents of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

Decades of work on programmes such as watershed development have credibly demonstrated the massive potential of earthen engineering that relies mainly on manual labour.

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