JK ‘FAILS’ IN SC REPORT CARD
Schemes Like NREGS, ICDS Have Little Impact On Ground
Srinagar, May 4: The ‘poor and disappointing’ execution of various centrally sponsored schemes in Kashmir by the state government has attracted sharp criticism from the Supreme Court. A study by the Apex Court has asserted that the government has either failed to create mass awareness about the programs or the benefits have not reached fully to the targeted groups, thereby defeating the purpose of launching the schemes.
NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE SCHEME:
The results of the flagship program aimed at changing the living conditions of poor are discouraging. Though National Rural Employment Guarantee Act guarantees 100 days of wage employment a year to every household, government has failed to generate mass awareness about it. Shockingly, in many villages surveyed it was found difficult to find five persons with job cards, the study by the Supreme Court Special Commissioner Harsh Mander and Commissioner Dr NC Saxena has highlighted.
More discouraging was the fact that those who need work and had made demands haven’t been provided it within a period of 14 days and wages are not paid in time as guaranteed under the Act.
The scheme was initially implemented during 2005-06 under phase I in some districts and later extended to Jammu and Islamabad districts in 2006-07 under phase II. In 2008, the scheme was extended to all districts of the state.
NATIONAL FAMILY BENEFIT SCHEME:
Though the Scheme provides for lump sum cash assistance to families living Below Poverty Line on death of its primary breadwinner, it is almost non-functional in the state. Under the scheme a family is to be provided Rs 10,000 in cash in case of the breadwinner’s death within four weeks.
However, more than 92 percent of the eligible beneficiaries identified in the survey reported not getting any benefit. Even few people who got the cash benefit received the amount a year or more after the death of breadwinner.
NATIONAL MATERNITY BENEFIT SCHEME/ JANANI SURAKSHA YOJANA:
The results of the survey into functioning of the NMBS/JSY scheme in Kashmir are very disappointing. Though the scheme provides for nutrition support (Rs 500) to pregnant women living under BPL eight to 12 weeks prior to delivery, it has not taken off in Kashmir in spite of repeated orders from the Supreme Court and the high priority given to it under the National Rural Health Mission.
Under the scheme, the Supreme Court has ruled that the benefit under NMBS/JSY must be paid irrespective of place of delivery, and also irrespective of age and number of children.
However the study found that only 6.3 per cent of the eligible beneficiaries reported getting any benefit under the schemes. Out of 143 women who had institutional deliveries only 9 women and only 4 out of 60 women (BPL) who had home deliveries have been given benefit under the scheme.
Further, of the 9 women who had institutional deliveries, 5 reported getting only Rs 500 as benefit whereas they should have got Rs 1400.
Since Government of India is providing the funds for this scheme in advance, there should be no reason why funds are not available at the PHC level to be given to the women in time, the study pointed out.
OLD AGE PENSION SCHEME:
Execution of the scheme on the ground is poor. Almost 65 per cent of the eligible persons were not receiving any pension and nearly 90 per cent of the beneficiaries were paid only Rs 200 or less as pension per month, with the rest getting Rs 325 per month against Rs 400 sanctioned under the scheme.
There has been delay in providing pension to the deserving persons.
INTEGRATED CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES:
At least 29 per cent of children below three years of age are malnourished. Though ICDS is the main intervention to address malnutrition among children, the survey found that there were many gaps in the coverage and quality of the scheme in the state.
Though Anganwadi centres do not function regularly, the far more concern is that more than 40 per cent of the respondents said that the supply of nutrition in the centers is not regular in different villages of Islamabad, Varmul, Ganderbal, Srinagar, Kupwara and Pulwama districts with a disruption in supply ranging from one and half months to six months in some cases.
The infrastructure in the centres is very poor with almost 80 per cent of the Anganwadi centres visited running from homes of either the Anganwadi Worker or the Anganwadi Helper.
The study ‘Hunger in the Valley—Report on Implementation of Food and Livelihood Schemes of Government in Kashmir’ was undertaken to evaluate the implementation of food, social security and livelihood schemes in Kashmir. It was conducted in collaboration with the Department of Social Work, Kashmir University, and covered 50 villages in 10 districts of Kashmir.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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