Statesman News Service, KENDRAPARA, Orissa,Feb. 10. —
A self-styled NGO has allegedly swindled Central grants of Rs 10 lakh in the name of rehabilitating lepers and providing economic assistance for them in a span of four years.
An administrative inquiry into the gross acts of omission and commission has revealed startling facts which lay bare the modus operandi of a fake organisation active in this coastal district in siphoning off government grants in the name providing service to the distressed.
Official sources told The Statesman that report on the inquiry conducted last week was submitted today to women and child welfare department for action.
It is an outright fraud perpetrated in the most brazen fashion, observed the officials. The NGO claimed that it had rehabilitated more than hundred lepers in Batipada village under Pattamundai Tehsil.
After concocting registration, the self-styled social activists submitted proposals for a leprosy eradication programme to the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment in 2000 after forging the approval letter of the Kendrapara district administration.
As the Central ministry did not vet the NGO the fictitious organisation could gobble up Rs 64, 530 during 2000-01, Rs 2.80 lakh during 2001-02, Rs 2.80 lakh during 2002-03 and Rs 3.70 lakh during 2003-04.
“Despite three days of frantic search, we failed to locate the office of the NGO. As a matter of fact, there was no trace of leprosy-afflicted persons in the village nor were there any in neighbouring villages,” revealed officials who were conducting the probe.