Jagatsinghpur, July 25 (LocalWire): Guardians and panchayat samity members alleged that the Women and Child Welfare department officials in the guise of purchasing toys and supplying sub-standard dry ration to 1840 aganwadi centres of Jagatsinghpur district have siphoned off of lakhs of rupees.
Nearly 20 panchayat samiti members gave a memorandum to the Collector and sought the administration’s intervention to unearth the racket.
Women and child welfare department sanctioned Rs 2500 to each anganwadi centre and Rs 1250 to mini anganwadi centres in 2018-2019 to purchase toys.
The same amount had been deposited in the bank account of each anganwadi worker.
They were supposed to buy synthetic and clay toys, models of body parts, spring ropes, ludo, picture boards and other articles for children with the knowledge of the village coordination committee.
Instead of purchasing the toys, child development project officers allegedly took away Rs 2300 from each worker’s account and kept back Rs 200 towards traveling expenses for purchasing toys.
Panchyat samiti chairman, Tirtol, Sujata Mohanty said, ‘after getting complaints, we conducted an inquiry at different anganwadi centres in Bodhei, Manijanga, Tarajanga and other panchyats of Tirtol block in the presence of the supervisor of anganwadi centres.
The workers confessed to have given Rs 2300 to local officials and said they have no receipts and vouchers of toys bought.
Village committee is also ignorant about purchase of toys.
Many centres have not yet received toys while many received sub-standard ones.’
Guardians alleged that lakhs of rupees have been misappropriated as sub-standard toys and other teaching materials were bought and both the administration and Integrated Child Development Scheme officials remained silent because of involvement of higher officials.
The officials linked to ICDS have allegedly misappropriated over Rs 21 lakhs.
The purchase receipts and vouchers are also not available with the Anganwadi workers.
Mohanty also alleged that four Self Help Groups including two SHGs from Kanimula, one each from Manijanaga and Kanakpur panchyat allegedly supplied sub-standard and low quality dry ration ‘Chauta’ to kids and pregnant women under Special Nutrition Programme without testing its quality by block level coordination committee because there is no BLCC to check the quality of food.
District social welfare officer Jayanti Behera confessed ‘toys of kids under ICDS should be purchased by concerned anganwadi worker with the knowledge of village committee.
It is a serious allegation. Inquiry will be conducted after getting complaints from the elected representatives’.