Reported by Simanchal Pattanaik
Phulbani, Feb 23:
An aanganwadi supplies scam in which Rs 26 lakh has been looted by the Child development Projects Officers (CDPOs) and supervisors has hit the backward Kandhamal district of Odisha.
The CDPOs run their own shops and forces aanganwadis to buy toys from it and the supervisors are the salesmen in these shops.
It may be noted that the Odisha government allows Rs 2500 and Rs 1250 to aanganwadis and mini-aanganwadis respectively to procure toys and educational aids for pre-school children. Accordingly, an amount of Rs 46,02,500 was sanctioned for the 1580 aanganwadis and 522 mini-aanganwadis in the district, sources said.
Guidelines framed by the government specifically mention the content of these kits and mandate the aanganwadi workers to make sure while purchasing these items from the local market that they have no known health hazards. The purchase should also be planned and made known to the purchase committee and inspection committee set up for the purpose.
The CDPOs of Kandhamal, however, procure these items themselves from unknown sources without verifying the health and safety eligibility and pass them on to the aanganwadis and mini-aanganwadis of the district.
Mahavir Suppliers of Brahmapur supplies these products to the CDPOs under fake bill without having any TIN at Rs 1000 per kit. The profit for the CDPOs and staff thus works out to Rs 1500 per kit for aanganwadis and Rs 250 per kit for mini-aanganwadis.
Starnegly, the District Welfare Officer (DWO) has maintained a studied silence on the issue and has done his best to an investigation into the matter.
The collector on the other hand has issued show cause notice only to the CDPO of Phiringia.
The aanganwadi workers are dissatisfied with this foulplay and said that they don’t have anything to say if the CDPOs take the government aid directly to their own accounts to purchase these kits. But the money instead comes to the aanganwadis and they are asked to send the money to the CDPO to supply the low quality stuff.
While the aanganwado workers voice their resentment over th issue, they fight shy of making a vocal protest and put their jobs in danger in the process.
The Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh of Kandhamal, however, has demanded a vigilance inquiry into this incident.