Mid-day meal/ representative pic
Mid-day meal/ representative pic

BHOPAL: National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has written to the director general of Economic Offences Wing to register a case in collection with Rs 4.26 crore alleged ‘Take Home Ration’ scam, which has surfaced in four districts.

The new exposé comes after coming to fore the sub-standard rice distribution scam in Balaghat and Mandla districts and the ration scam that surfaced in Indore district. NCPCR has brought to light the Take Home Ration (THR) scheme for the Out of School (OoS) adolescent girls in Betul, Gwalior, Dindori and Singrauli districts.

The commission in its letter to DG EOW stated that discrepancies in THR scheme to tune of Rs 117.25 lakh has been detected in Betul district, Rs 128.54 lakh in Gwalior district, Rs 51.04 lakh in Dindori district and Rs 130.02 lakh in Singrauli district.

According to the NPPCR letter, the most shocking fact pertains to Singrauli district, where the number of OoS girls as per WCD in 2018-19 was 53,554, while the figure given by the school education department was nil.

Priyank Kanoongo, the Commission chairman, during his visit to the state in 2018-19 had looked into the working of the departments engaged in welfare of children. The chairperson then visited MP Agrotonic and MP Agro Industries Corporation Limited to assess the quality of food items served in Anganwadi centers in different districts of MP, including Vidisha.

During the inspection, he found out that a large number of adolescent girls in the age group of 11-14 years were Out of School (OoS). The Commission subsequently sought information on OoS adolescent girls from the state's department of women and child development (WCD). The response from the WCD department showed that there were 2,17,211 OoS adolescent girls (11-14 years), out of which 1,71,365 girls were getting services from Anganwadi as in February 2019.

The Commission further took up the matter with the state's department of school education, which informed the NPCPR about having identified a total 23,491 OoS children in the age group of 11-14 years in the state, out of which 8,680 were adolescent girls.

Noticing clear cut discrepancies in the OoS girls data of state WCD and school education department and consequent possibilities of financial irregularities, the Commission requested the Accountant General (General & Social Sector Audit), MP to enquire into the matter.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Priyank Kanoongo said the Commission has received two Action Taken Reports (ATR) from the office of Indian Audit & Accounts Department, office of the Accountant General Madhya Pradesh on the four districts -Betul, Dindori, Gwalior and Singrauli. As per the ATRs in the four districts huge discrepancies to the tune of over Rs 4.26 crore have been detected in expenses incurred on THR scheme for the OoS adolescent girls, after which we’ve written to the DG EOW to register a case in the matter, he added.

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Free Press Journal