The NREGA, a scheme introduced by the previous UPA government, guarantees 100 days of work each year to the rural poor - at least on paper.
Earlier this month, 28 of India's top economists wrote to Prime Minister Narenda Modi, saying they fear his government is trying to dilute the rural jobs scheme. They raised specific objections to some of the proposed moves like restricting the scheme to the country's poorest 200 districts and imposing a cap on NREGA expenditure by state governments, among others.
Opinion may be divided on the effectiveness of scheme, but, says activist Sanjay Sahni of the Samaj Parivartan Shakti Sangathan, "In the villages, the poor need employment. It is true that there is a lot of corruption (in the implementation of the scheme). But in the last three years, they have fought for their rights and ensured they have earned some money".
Work under the Act may be increasingly hard to come by, she says, but NREGA is still an important part of her life, and that of many others here. She says, "What other work can I do? I can't do hard labour at this age. If it closes down, what are my options? The government has to give us work".
The government has so far refused to confirm or deny any attempt on its part to rework the Act, apart from saying that projects under the scheme need to be more productive, and linked to other government infrastructure schemes for rural areas.
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.