Orissa: A scam that endangers pregnant women, children
The tainted officials are believed to have provided undue favour to certain private suppliers and traders in districts of Ganjam, Mayurbhanj, Deogarh, Balasore and Jajpur. As a result of this scam, low quality pulses were provided in the various feeding schemes implemented in 2009-'10 and 2010-'11, the report says.
At the receiving end of the scam were school students, children, pregnant and nursing mothers who have been part of the midday meal (MDM), supplementary nutrition programme (SNP) and emergency food programme (EFP) and were left to feed themselves with "mould-grown and substandard pulses", revealed the report.
The report said, "In most of the samples, the analytical reports said the pulses did not confirm to the prescribed standard and were highly infected and of poor quality due to presence of insects in it." Taking cognizance of the disturbing report that could be fatal to high risk groups like children and pregnant women, 34 accused persons was arrested, with the report stating, "All the arrested persons were, however, released on bail as per orders of the High Court."
The scam was first brought out by Bari MLA Debashish Naik last year. Pramila Mallick, the then Women and Child Development minister had also resigned from her post with the government taking stern action on the district collectors of Deogarh, Mayurbhanj and Balasore.