Lapsing central funds


Lakhs of children in the age group of 2 to 5 years and school-drop out girls have been deprived of their full nutrition quota by the State Social Welfare Department due to the criminal negligence on the part of officials at the helm of affairs. The State Government continued to provide funds for this purpose but due to non-purchase of food and nutrition items by the officers and lack of proper monitoring at the top level in the Government, over eight lakhs children of the State are suffering. The Central funds worth over Rs 300 crore meant for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in J&K, may remain unutilized again this year as State level purchase committee has failed to finalise financial bid despite the fact that about 15,000Anganwadi centers in Jammu Division are lying dry for the last about two years. All the 800 Anganwadi centers in district Samba are lying dry for the last nearly three years now. In Jammu district also, there is no supply exceptCAPD rice during June this year. No recipe, edible oils, even the salt and 'Haldi' has been supplied in the centers as the new contract committee framed at State level failed to make the purchases even at the fag end of this financial year. In many centres. Many parents have stopped sending their children in view of non-supply of nutrition to the Aganwadi centers.
The concerned ICDS Mission Directorate J&K, especially in Jammu region has completely failed to fulfill its obligations and render its services to the poor children for which purpose this department was established by the Government of India in 1975. Initially, two projects-Billawar in Kathua and Kangan in Ganderbal were launched in J&K during that year. Special funds every year are kept at the disposal of the State Governments to provide healthy nutrition to the children of BPL category and the poorest of the poorer class, but these children of the lesser Government are being denied their rightful share by the officers at the helm of affairs. In Samba, all the 800 Anganwadi centers are running dry for the last nearly three years now. The Anganwadi workers of about a dozen centres in Jammu district when contacted revealed that their supervisors were pressurising them to collect recipe items including potatoes, onions, salt, turmeric etc from the village and ward community for cooking rice and provide something to the children to ensure their presence in the centers. They also alleged that department failed to make village level and ward level committees for making purchased even after 10 months. The old committee under Deputy Commissioners cases to exist now. The department has switched over to new system which could not be established till today and children are suffering. For this financial year 2017-2018, the Central Government provided funds in advance for making purchases and the Finance Department in its circular issued in various newspapers during second week of April issued advisory not only to the SWD but some other departments to complete the tender process before May 15, 2017, failing which they will have to write to the Finance Department for seeking permission by giving valid and justified reasons for the delay.

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