Women and child development minister Krishna Tirath says she is on a mission to make the Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme work and see that those misappropriating funds are punished. Excerpts from an interview:
What does the vigilance inquiry committee have to say about the misappropriation of funds for the scheme?
Well, it is still investigating the matter. I’d like to wait for the submission of its report. But the guilty will be punished. We want the government and NGOs to work in transparent partnership.
Huge funds are involved in the project and are being misutilised...
I understand the seriousness of the issue. This is our commitment towards the children and women who’ve trusted me with this job. I’ll ensure whatever the scheme promises is delivered.
What steps are being taken to ensure these irregularities are stemmed?
We are introducing a redressal cell. A single window mechanism will be followed. The complainant can come and report any irregularity and the officer concerned with the secretary along with me will listen to the complaint. The verification of allegations and other formalities will start and the complainant can meet the same set of officers after a stipulated time to check on the status. This will ensure that none of the schemes is run arbitrarily.
This is the only scheme meant for children of women working in the unorganised sector and it failed at many levels. How will the ministry ensure transparency?
We’re working on transparency, innovation and accountability. There are procedural hurdles, but we are trying to remove them. We want to invite NGOs through advertisements and hand over the work with a monitoring mechanism. And the open criticism of any scheme in our grievance cell will also put a check on wrong practices.