25L ghost anganwadi beneficiaries found
WCD Ministry officials say there could be over 1 cr such beneficiaries who exist only on paper, across the country
New Delhi: The Women and Child Development Ministry has found out there are over 25 lakh ghost beneficiaries of anganwadi schemes under the Integrated Child Development Services in several states. Maharashtra accounts for anywhere between 7 to 8 lakh of such fake beneficiaries. Fake beneficiaries of over 14 lakh were found to be availing such benefits in Uttar Pradesh, while Assam accounted for 3 lakh such beneficiaries, ministry officials said.
WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi said that the ministry had started state-level inquiries after they found fake beneficiaries in Assam. Till now, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have filed inquiry reports, while other states are in the process of conducting such inquiries.
Ministry officials said that the state’s spend on the daily meal of each beneficiary is Rs 8. “This means that UP alone accounts for Rs 11 crore daily, while Assam and Maharashtra combined costs the state exchequer Rs 80 lakh,” state ministry officials said.
The officials further said that over 1 crore such beneficiaries are only on paper across the country.
Under the supplementary nutrition scheme of Integrated Child Development Services, there are 14 lakh anganwadis, which provide uncooked ration to 4.6 crore infants and 1.9 crore mothers and hot cooked meals to
3.6 crore children aged between 3 to 6.
The ministry stumbled upon the fake names after the state government in Assam had carried out its own survey in June this year, revealing the number of fake beneficiaries. The survey was conducted along with physical verification of the number of children present in the anganwadis. After it was revealed that the state had so many fake beneficiaries, Maneka ordered all state governments to verify the actual number of children who
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