Central fund for rural areas siphoned off: NHRC

Central fund for rural areas siphoned off: NHRC

Corruption responsible for shoddy state of affairs, says official

This has been observed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) during an ongoing review of the implementation of various development schemes of the government being conducted by the commission in 28 backward districts of the country, a top functionary of the commission said.

The commission has so far completed review of the government schemes that have bearing on the human rights of the people in 16 of the 28 backward districts.
The official said various studies and reports have shown that there was no match between the programmes and performance and the authorities had failed to achieve the 11th Five Year Plan targets set in 2008.

The government guarantees 100 days of work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme but its own report indicates that people got an average of 47 days work a year. “This is when the villagers are demanding 200 days work in a year, instead of 100 days,” he said.

Coming to the health sector, the official said about 60 per cent of the funds allocated for Anganwadis under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) are swindled by the officials and others. “A study conducted by the NHRC in a district in Uttar Pradesh showed that 61 per cent of the funds have been siphoned off. A government report for the whole country also shows that 60 per cent of the funds under ICDS are siphoned off,” he said.
The official pointed out that the 11th Plan target was to increase the sex ratio to 935 in 2011 from 927 in 2001 but it had fallen to 914 this year. Similarly, infant mortality rate was to be reduced to 28 from 58 but the achievement was only 53.

“Though the growth rate approaching double digit and GDP is on rise, it has no impact on common man’s life. What we need is a social audit of government’s flagship programmes like ICDS,” he said.

On the education front, the official said the figure of enrolment at the elementary level under Right to Education Act was “completely misleading”. Referring to a report of Pratham, he said that number of schools was rising while quality of education slides down.
The NHRC will prepare an assessment report on the implementation of government schemes that have bearing on human rights and their shortcomings. The report will also be sent to the United Nations next year as part of the universal periodic review started by the world body four years back, the official added.

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