By Sundeep Pouranik
Bhopal, April 14 (IANS) At a time when the whole country is struggling against the deadly coronavirus, opportunists don’t want to let go of any chance to make money. And a large number of these allegedly come from the mediators whom the government and companies contact to spend funds for public welfare.
The government and donors are busy helping the needy during the coronavirus pandemic. Many big companies are resorting to intermediaries to provide relief to the people but these middlemen are reportedly trying to take advantage of this opportunity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the country-wide lockdown on March 25. The lockdown lasted for 21 days before being extended. The month of March marks the end of the financial year and many NGOs were required to spend the money given by donors for various projects by March 31. But they had money left over, which could not be spent on the schemes.
So they asked the donor agency to allow the remaining amount to be spent to help the corona victims and the donor agency agreed. During the period of the lockdown, in just six days from March 26 to 31, these NGOs were very active and appeared to help the needy.
Social activist Manish Rajput said that “Even in this time of crisis, many people associated with NGOs and government staff are finding a way to benefit. They have nothing to do with the troubled people, they just care for their own benefit. That’s why although the corona affected people received unprecedented help, but in April only a few people opted to help.”
Both the Central and state governments have prepared an action plan to help the affected people. Many NGOs want their share in this scheme and are promoting themselves as the biggest advocates of the society by declaring themselves as experts. They are questioning the governments, their effort is that the governments should hand over the work to them.
Amulya Nidhi of the Public Health Organization does not rule out that “any disaster is an accident for someone, an opportunity for someone. If the victim takes decades to stand up, opportunists get a better chance. So, it is government’s responsibility to play a role and not to let the so-called social workers come into the ambit. In the name of helping the coronavirus affected people, many people benefit, but it should not be done.”
According to experts, there is a glut of NGOs everywhere who do not fail to declare themselves as experts in various fields . Along with the government schemes, they also get schemes from various donating agencies and for this they get crores of rupees. But there is no account of what happens on the ground or how much the affected people get from the scheme, because we do not have the tradition of social audit.
(Sundeep Pouranik can be contacted at [email protected])