Heena*, who is in her forties, works under Kerala's Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme (AUEGS) in Ernakulam's Maradu municipality. She has also worked under the national rural jobs programme when Maradu was a panchayat. Heena has supplemented the income of her family of five with the meagre earnings from these employment schemes, alongside other jobs. The fallout of the pandemic has exacerbated her difficulties, like it did for many of India's urban poor. "I have a loan for an under-construction house, my husband is unwell; my eldest son is the only real earning member. An urban employment scheme such as this [AUEGS] is helpful for poor women like me, but it needs improvements," she said.
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