Jorhat, Oct. 9: More than 700 members of the district unit of the Nari Mukti Sangram Samiti took to the streets here to protest against corruption and the rule of middlemen in government schemes, especially of the social welfare department, meant to benefit women.
They demanded that beneficiaries of schemes should be publicly identified in village sabhas and then the names should be proposed to the respective departments.
Mridula Kolita, secretary of the central committee of the samiti, said it was often seen that middlemen took upon themselves to issue and fill up the forms after taking a payment of Rs 2,000 or more.
“All the women who avail of schemes meant for widows or baidews have to get their forms filled up by these men who take it upon themselves to identify the women who will benefit after taking some amount and then submitting the forms at the social welfare department. If the scheme value is Rs 10,000, the beneficiary is given between Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000 only,” she alleged.
Other anomalies which have come to the fore after a recent survey by the organisation showed that many women masquerade as widows and baidews, besides giving incorrect age to benefit from the schemes.
“In order to address all these anomalies we have demanded that there has to be a systematic identification of the beneficiaries in public before the schemes are availed of,” Kolita said.
This was given in writing to the social welfare department officer, Nasmeen Begum, today. The organisation is also demanding special benefits for flood-affected women in the district. A memorandum in this regard was submitted to the deputy commissioner here.