The state government in Maharashtra is ready to cancel the tender of Rs 500 crore that has been allotted to 3 food firms of the state. Allegation against these three food firms is that they have not supplied the food products on time that was required for lactating and pregnant women and for half-starved children.
Different child and women development organizations active at individual parts of Maharashtra are supporting the decision. The secretary of the child and woman development department of Maharashtra reported to English daily that the authority is simply waiting for the report from the commissioner, who has been appointed by Apex Court, to look after the issue. As soon as they get the report, they will work on it to cancel the order.
The Child and Women Welfare Department of Maharashtra provided the responsibilities to deliver food products to those women and children, to these organizations- Mahalaxmi Balvikas and Mahila Audhyogic (Bahuddeshiya) Cooperative Society working in Mumbai. Venkateswara Audhyogic Mahila Utpadan Co. Society Working in Latur, Mahila Shakhari Co. Society that is active in Dhule.
According to the report of the commissioner, none of these organizations has the capacity to produce that huge amount of food products required for the entire state. That is the reason that they have not been able to supply the needs on time.
However, there is greater story behind a story as all these organizations used to take the ration facilities from other five companies and the owners of those companies are relatives of the owners of these organizations. Actually, both the owners and their relatives, who are members of the sub-committee, were planning to develop a kind of family business that unfortunately has been detected by the state authority.
According to that English daily news, the Maharashtra commissioner planned to supervise how the ICDS or Integrated Child Development Scheme is being implemented in different places and he noticed this major fault at the time of enquiry. Even before it has been reported that, the organizations are storing the ration supplies to sell later, ignoring the SC order not to use those supplies meant for children and women.
On 19 August 2011, the Apex court placed an order that the rationing system must be supervised by self-help groups and private Mahila mandals that are working in numbers of Maharashtra villages. They were supposed to buy food products from these organizations to prepare meals and then to sell them.
However, while doing thorough enquiry authorities detected that not the self-help groups, but the members of the sub-comities are handling the entire business and the village organizations are being deprived massively.
The entire group supplied the food products to other organizations for more benefit and this illegal attitude of the organizers affected the original purpose of strengthening the self-help societies badly.
Not all these three food firms were simply late to supply food, but also they delivered very poor quality food that is not at all healthy for small children and pregnant women. The child and women development societies thus consider that this will be the right punishment for these organizations.
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