LUCKNOW: Large-scale financial irregularities have surfaced in the inspection of shelter homes in various districts of Uttar Pradesh. Besides this, a majority of the homes have fudged the data which explains the incidents of missing girls from shelter homes in different districts.
On August 06, 19 girls were found to be ‘missing’ from the Swadhar Greh run by NGO Aaysha Gramudyog Samiti in Hardoi’s Beniaganj.
Likewise in Pratapgarh’s Ashtabhujanagar based Jagarati Swadhar Mahila ashray, the team from district administration found names of 16 women listed in the records. Of these, only one was present.
Manager Rama Mishra told the team that the others have gone out to work. As per reports, the district team stayed there for several hours waiting to meet the women who were supposed to return. But none came back. At around 10 pm, Sub-divisional magistrate Sadar raided the center again. This time, the number of women in the register was found to be 17 of whom only three were present.
In Pilibhit too, Jan Kalyan Shiksha Samiti supported Swadhar Greh showed the presence of 30 women against whom only seven were present.
Some of these institutions were floated by locally influential people backed by politicians and administrative officials. For instance, Rama Mishra who ran the center in Pratapgarh was BJP district mahila chief in 2013. She has also been a BJP corporator in her district.
Confirming that the findings, minister for women and child welfare, UP Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, “Reports from all 75 districts have landed with the department. A study of the reports is underway. But on the whole, we can say that large-scale financial irregularities have come to light.”
Joshi pointed out that the fudging is naturally for financial gains. “A sum of Rs 50 per person per day is paid to the organisation that runs the swadhar greh. Ghost entries were being done to make money,” she said adding that the NGOs were engaged by previous governments.
More than 250 homes aided by departments of women and child welfare, social welfare, and welfare of persons with a disability were inspected by district magistrates between August 06 and 08. On August 3, taking suo-moto cognizance of the Muzaffarpur case, the yogi government had ordered district magistrates to check the status of all protection homes in the domain. However, the order was largely ignored. Post Deoria incident, the DMs were told to conduct the inspection within 12 hours and submit the report.
The minister also stated that a number of corrective measures have been planned. “As many as 10 state universities have been engaged to conduct social audit of shelter/protection homes. Also, we are working to establish a data monitoring system to keep an eye on the functioning of all homes,” she said.
* TOO MANY STAKE-HOLDERS
Minister Rita Joshi informed that a big roadblock towards the achievement of transparency in the functioning of homes is the multiplicity of departments running the shelter/protection homes. “While we have already acquired the list of homes supported by UP Mahila Kalyan Board, list of the one run by ministers of women and child and persons with disability is being obtained. The numbers will help in drawing the plan,” she said.
The department would be dividing these homes among 31 members of State women commission and state commission for protection of child rights. “The members would also conduct an inspection of each home and submit a report which will be used to draw the long-term plan to ensure the safety of all women in the homes and to check misuse of the resources,” Joshi stated.