The importance of employment generation programmes in poverty alleviation efforts in India are as follows:-
(i) Direct Relationship between Employment and Poverty Alleviation
There exists a positive relationship between employment and poverty alleviation. If government aims at creating new employment opportunities, then more people will be employed that will raise their income and, thus, will pull them above the poverty line.
(ii) Higher Standard of Living
With the increase in income, consequent to the new employment opportunities, poverty trodden people can enjoy higher standard of living and greater accessibility to education, better health facilities, proper sanitation, etc.
(iii) Reduce Rural-Urban Migration
Poor people tend to migrate from rural to urban areas in sought of better employment and earning opportunities. This creates undue burden on the urban areas to provide ample job opportunities to these migrants. Failure of this leads to formation of informal sector that makes these people more vulnerable in the urban areas. A positive point of employment generation programmes is that it generates ample employment opportunities in rural areas to reduce rural-urban migration.
(iv) Creation of Durable Assets
The employment generation programmes aim at creation of durable assets like watershed development works, water harvesting, irrigation facilities, canal building, construction of roads connecting rural areas to urban areas and construction of dams. All these assets play an important role in the social and economic development of the country.
(v) Self-sufficiency and Self-reliant Areas
The creation of these durable assets protects the poverty-trodden areas from natural calamities such as floods and droughts thereby facilitating these areas to be self-sufficient and self reliant.
(vi) Impart and Enhance Skills
Most of the employment generation programmes help in human capital formation by enhancing knowledge and imparting skills to the unskilled laborers. Such skills increase the employment prospect of the unskilled laborers in the industrial and the service sectors. This not only enhances income earning capacities of these people but also alleviates poverty simultaneously.
(vii) Reduce underemployment and disguised unemployment
Indian agricultural sector is characterized by disguised unemployment. This implies that although a laborer is engaged in agriculture but the total output will not be affected even if the laborer is withdrawn. The role of employment generation programmes in reducing disguised unemployment is very important. These programmes engage these extra laborers in economically fruitful activities, thereby, reducing unnecessary burden on the agricultural sector.