At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to preach about the commitment of his government to ensure the safety, security of women through various empowerment schemes, apathy on this front clearly reflects in the affairs of the BJP-led alliance which rules the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC). Despite budgetary allocations, various women-centric schemes including the Nutritive Food (Sakas Ahaar) and 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' (Save Girl Child, Educate Girl Child) initiatives continue to remain non-starters in the twin-city for the past couple of years.
The matter came to light when social entrepreneur Snehal Pawar, sourced out information in this context from MBMC’s social welfare department. In reply to Pawar’s query, the civic administration has clearly stated that it had failed to spend a single penny towards the projects for the last two fiscals (2014-15 and 2015-16). While there is annual budgetary allocation amounting Rs 20 Lakh and Rs 10 lakh for providing nutritious meals for pregnant/lactating mothers and free sanitary napkins to girl students studying in municipal schools across the twin-city, Rs 5 lakh has been earmarked for the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' project. However, instead of utilizing the funds MBMC’s Women and Child Welfare Committee headed by the BJP has been sitting on the budget for mysterious reasons.
“Immediately after I sought information under the RTI act, the administration hurriedly spent a major chunk of the budget, this within a matter of few months. This has further raised suspicion on their corrupt intentions,” said Pawar who has demanded a detailed probe into the matter and strict action against the guilty officers.
“We fought tooth and nail in the general body to allocate funds for sanitary napkins, but the administration and the ruling governance is least concerned,” alleged Congress corporator Prabhat Tai Patil.