Inhabitants of Adi Annamalai contest unification with Tiruvannamalai to safeguard MGNREGA labor for females.

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Adi Annamalai: Village Unites Against Merger To Secure Women’s Employment

In a remarkable show of unity, the community of Adi Annamalai, a small village near the Arunachaleswara temple on the Girivalam Path in Tiruvannamalai town, has collectively decided to disapprove of the proposed merger with the town. From Reader Wall’s source, the motive behind this decision is the preservation of women’s jobs under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.

Grama Sabha Vote

The solid opposition to the merger emerged during a grama sabha meeting where the villagers—predominantly women—unanimously affirmed their decision. The decisive vote came following a resolution set forth by one of the woman workers. It became one of the twelve resolutions accomplished during the meeting, supervised by the panchayat secretary, S. Anbu.

Impact of the Resolutions

N. Arumugam, the president of Adi Annamalai panchayat, accentuates the importance of these resolutions in influencing the district administration’s fund allocation and work orders. Besides, the grievances raised are immediately addressed, further reflecting the weightage these meetings hold.

About the Village Adi Annamalai

Adi Annamalai, despite its proximity to the bustling pilgrim town, is comprised of quieter farming communities like Kosalai, Mettu Kosalai, Kottangal, and Vediappanur. The village, spread over nine wards and homeowners to approximately 4,100 people, takes care of the Girivalam path’s daily upkeep, covering a significant part of it.


Highlighting the gender dynamics, it is observed that more than half of the residents are women, primarily employed under the MGNREGA scheme for jobs like digging ponds and water channels. The local women not only contribute to their village’s development but also participate in creating watering facilities inside the nearby reserve forests for the wild species inhabiting there.

Merger Fear

However, the proposed merger of the village with Tiruvannamalai municipality has raised concerns for these women’s job assurance under the MGNREGA scheme. According to the municipal officials, the merger of 20 villages surrounding the town is deemed necessary for it to become a corporation, thereby implying the loss of MGNREGA work for the female residents of Adi Annamalai.

Population Threshold for a Corporation

As per the revised rules under the Local Bodies (Amendments) Act 2022, to be denominated as a corporation, the area must encompass at least three lakh inhabitants. As of now, the municipality accommodates around 1.46 lakh people across its 39 wards, necessitating the merger with adjourning villages.


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