Sonai ICDS project in the vortex of corruption

Silchar, April 29: In a memorandum addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar here, Shamshuz Zaman Mazumder, President, Assembly Committee, Sonai, has alleged mismanagement, negligence and misappropriation of funds by the authority concerned of the ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) project of the block and pressed for magisterial level inquiry into them. According to him, the development funds provided by the government for the welfare of children and women through ICDS project are being misused. Its benefits are not reaching the target groups.
Under the project, Anganwadi Centres have been established which are aimed at the overall well being of the mother and child. The allegation goes on to say that the benefits of such projects and their very objective are being frustrated due to maladministration, apathy and negligence of the officials responsible for their implementation. In fact, the benefits instead of reaching the poor is only going to help the officials and the unscrupulous elements in the department.
The President of the Assembly Committee of Sonai block refers to the anger and anguish of people in general against the functioning and administration of the ICDS project and the misappropriation of funds in a brazen manner, depriving women and children of their benefits. In order to have an on the spot assessment of the ground realities and the veracity of public complaints, the elected Youth Congress members of Sonai Assam AYC along with the media persons from both the printing and electronic visited around 15 Anganwadi Centres of the block. Their numbers are 2, 28, 54, 60, 165, 181, 186 among others on April 25.
Shamshuz Zaman Mazumder along with Sibjul Bahar Laskar, vice president, Asraf Kalam Azad Laskar, general secretary, and Ramnath Nunia, general secretary of Assam Youth Congress, Sonai, were shocked and appalled to see the conditions of these centres. The common refrain from the common people is that children are not receiving any education and the nutritious food regularly. These centres under their glare were found closed and the Anganwadi workers and helpers absent from their duties. Though their visit covered 15 Anganwadi Centres, the scenario, they had reason to believe, was not in any way different from other centres of Sonai ICDS project.

Another serious allegation brought out is that of the Anganwadi Centres existing on official records, many do not exist at all. They have dubbed them as fake. It is also most shocking that the authorities concerned are maintaining records and showing payments of remunerations and other dues against the Anganwadi workers of such bogus centres. In view of the seriousness of the matter and the drainage of development funds in a most shameless manner, the Deputy Commissioner has been prevailed over to make investigation into all the allegations verified by the team of Youth Congress members.
Demand has also been placed for causing inquiry by a magistrate in order to expose the deep rooted corruptions that have gone to plague the ICDS project and the Anganwadi Centres not only in Sonai block but in all the blocks of Cachar district.

The guilty officials and staff behind the open loot of development funds should be identified, booked and dealt with harshly in order to preempt corruptions. (Source:SentinelAssam)

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