The state government is likely to freeze the flow of funds to various fly-by-night NGOs that have reportedly drawn huge amounts under various schemes for the overall development of primitive tribe groups (PTGs) but have done little on the ground.
The government was alerted by a recently released special branch report that stated `5 crore was disbursed to various districts across the state through the Integrated Tribal Development Authority (ITDA). A tribal-dominated district gets around `40 lakh annually under the scheme.
However, in a district like Gumla, where several NGOs are reportedly engaged in carrying out welfare activities, the condition of PTGs has failed to improve and is indeed getting worse by the day.
The special branch report says that most of these NGOs exist only on paper. While they continue to get funds from the government, there is no field presence of their volunteers or workers. Some of them carry out minimal work and siphon off a bulk of the funds due to the poor monitoring system of the concerned department.
“It is unfortunate that despite getting huge financial support from the government, these NGOs have failed to change the lives of the PTGs. Living in abject poverty and misery, scores of PTGs have opted for religious conversion. In fact, Gumla continues to record maximum religious conversion cases in the state,” the special branch report said. HT has a copy of the report.
The report adds most of these NGOs are run by influential people, including politicians, ministers, senior administrative officials and retired bureaucrats.
The report suggests the chief minister take suo motto cognisance into the anomalies and order an audit of the funds — both Central and state — that these NGOs have received since 2000. If need be, the report says, a probe may be also be ordered under a retired tribal judge.
No senior official of the government was ready to speak on the issue. Insiders in the government said that eminent RTI activist and economist Jean Dreze has prepared a detailed report on the prevalent racket involving senior government officials and the NGOs, which he would be submitting to the government soon.
Dreze was unavailable for comments.