Corruption blocking millennium goals for weak, say NGOs

Human development indicators mask truth

Corruption blocking millennium goals for weak, say NGOs

In India, women, dalits and minorities are not going to achieve millennium development goals set by the United Nations for 2015.

Corruption is forbidding these sections from doing so, reveals a study by civil society organisations.  

Releasing a report card on status of millennium development goals on the ground, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (Do Not Break the Promise Campaign), says that aggregated data on various human development indicators like poverty, health,  nutrition and education mask the real picture.

The real picture, according to the campaign, is that marginalised sections are nowhere near the development goals.

The campaign, which is joined by several NGOs, carried out the study in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Manipur.

“Corruption at local level is so rampant that every scheme fails. People are not involved in the planning process and its implementation. The Government of India made commitments, but its review for five years reveals says that actually it has failed on ground,” said Amitabh Behar of the National Foundation for India.

The campaign has participation of many NGOs and it convened public hearings in the states to get feedback on the status of promises and implementation.  

“We think, no party, including Gujarat and Bihar, is different on that count. Though Bihar and Gujarat have been in prominence for their pace of development, the ground realities are different from what is being claimed,” said Richa Singh, convener of the campaign.“In Bihar, the fund which is allocated for development of SCs/STs is too low in comparison to their population. Only 40 out of 68 departments have drawn money for development. There are many departments which have spent money for other purposes,” she said.

“In Gujarat, the budget earmarked for SC community was not utilised completely in any year. The quantum was also less than what should be under Special Component Plan guidelines. More than 4,25,000 girls are missing with two possibilities, one-either they are not allowed to be born or two-they are discriminated against after birth to an extent that the number of girls children falls in comparison to boy,” she said.  

But North-Eastern states are emerging as the worst sufferers.  Despite having a favourable tradition, women in Manipur are suffering due to conflict and violence. They cannot go to schools because of insecurity, said the campaigners.

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