BHOPAL: Four months after the supply of substandard rice under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in Balaghat and Mandla district jolted Madhya Pradesh, fresh discrepancies were detected under the Take Home Ration (THR) scheme for out of school adolescent girls in the state.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to the Director General of the Economic Offence Wing of MP to register a case following the detection of over Rs 4.26 crore worth financial irregularities/discrepancies in THR for such girls in four districts of the state.
A letter signed by NCPCR Registrar Anu Chaudhary, summarising findings of enquiry by the Office of Indian Audit & Accounts Department, Office of the Accountant General, Madhya Pradesh about the four districts — Betul, Dindori, Gwalior and Singrauli — was sent to the DG EOW on Monday.
The NCPCR has requested the EOW to register a case followed by appropriate action and submit an action taken report to the commission within 10 days.
In 2018-19, the NCPCR chairperson conducted inspection of MP Agrotonic and MP Agro Industries Corporation Ltd to assess the quality of food items served in Anganwadi centers in different districts of MP, including Vidisha.
During the visit, it was found that a large number of adolescent girls in the age group of 11-14 years were out of school (OoS). The Commission subsequently sought information on OoS adolescent girls from the state’s department of women and child development (WCD).
The response from the WCD department showed that there were 2,17,211 OoS adolescent girls (11-14 years), out of which 1,71,365 girls were getting services from Anganwadi as in February 2019.
The commission further took up the matter with the state’s department of school education, which informed the NCPCR about having identified 23,491 OoS children in the age group of 11-14 years in the state, out of which 8,680 were adolescent girls.
Confirming the development, the NPPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo told TNIE that the commission has received two action taken reports (ATR) on the four districts.
“As per the ATRs in the four districts, huge discrepancies to the tune of over Rs 4.26 crore have been observed in expenses incurred on THR scheme for the OoS adolescent girls, after which we’ve written to the DG EOW to register a case,” said the NCPCR chairperson.
When contacted by TNIE, the Director of WCD Department, Swati Meena Naik responded, “I’ve not seen the case, can respond only after seeing the documents.”
Take-home meal for out of school girls
Under the scheme, take home ration or cooked meal is provided to out of school girls in 11-14 age group, with a nutrition provision of Rs 9.50 per day (600 calories).