BHAWANIPATNA: Saakshar Bharat, the Centre-sponsored scheme launched on February 28, 2011, to improve literacy rate among women of SC, ST and minority communities, remains a non-starter here.
The scheme was to be implemented in 19 districts in Odisha of which, Kalahandi, Balangir and Sundargarh were to be covered in the first phase. As per the programme, the project is to be over by March 12 this year and the Directorate of Mass Education is the State-level nodal agency for it.
As per guidelines of the project, 3,33,000 people were to be taught under the project through 3,180 voluntary teaching centres and 265 adult education centres.
While Kalahandi Collector is the ex-officio chairman of the project, Project Director of DRDA is its secretary.
Sources said against the required number of study materials, including slates, pencils and notebooks, for the 3,33,000 learners, only 30,000 study materials have been supplied to the district by the Directorate of Mass Education.
Likewise, only 75,000 primers prepared by the Mass Education Department have reached the districts so far.
Sources said the study materials provided to the district - the purchases of which have been made in Bhubaneswar - are not according to the approved sample of the project.
The poor quality study materials were even rejected by the district-level purchasing committee of the project in December last and the Directorate of Mass Education was informed of it, but no step has been taken so far to provide fresh stock to the district.
Besides, 545 Shiksha Preraks, associated with the project, have not received their remuneration of ` 2,000 a month since June last and even district and block-level coordinators have not received their remuneration of ` 6,000 a month since March last.
DRDA Project Director Ashok Kumar Bhuyan said funds flow for the project and supply of study materials are not regular, affecting its implementation.