Green crusaders: Guides take out a rally in Ranchi
Scout movement in Jharkhand is on a decline, thanks to an apathetic government.
There are more than 20,000 scouts and guides across Jharkhand, but the organisational set-up of the group is lying defunct.
At present, hardly any scouting activities are held in the state. People associated with the movement express fears that scout activities, once popular in Jharkhand, might soon become a thing of the past if immediate steps to revive it are not taken.
“District and state-level rallies and training camps are hardly organised these days. Once, several scouts from the state went on to win President’s Medals. Now, barring a few missionary schools, scout training hardly takes place,” rued a scout from a state-run school.
State secretary of Bharat Scout and Guides Srimohan Singh admitted to the problem, but blamed the government for the decadent state of the movement.
“How can a movement run without money? The state government has not paid a single penny to organise scouting activities for the past five years. Earlier, we were paid Rs 7 lakh every year,” Singh said, adding that money sanctioned for non-planned expenditure could not be used in organising camps or rallies.
Director of art, sports and culture department Ashok Kumar, however, held the scouting outfit responsible for the government’s decision of not allocating funds to it.
“Five years ago, the state unit of Bharat Scouts and Guides failed to furnish a proper utilisation report of grants provided to them. Since then, the government has stopped providing them money,” he said.
Kumar also had some good news.
“Following a recent directive from Raj Bhavan, funds worth Rs 7 lakh have been allocated for scouting activities. The scouting outfit will get it once the supplementary budget is passed on the floor of house in the upcoming Assembly session,” he said.