Trio ‘ostracised’ over RTI
- | Wednesday , September 1 , 2010 |Trio ‘ostracised’ over RTI
OUR CORRESPONDENT (From left) Fatima Mynsong, Acquiline Songthiang and Matilda Suting from Jongksha village in East Khasi Hills district. Telegraph picture
Shillong, Aug. 31: Three families in Jongksha have been allegedly “ostracised” by the local dorbar for filing an RTI application to bring to light glaring anomalies in the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the village.
The Jongksha dorbar shnong, in a meeting on August 12, decided to “ostracise” the families of Fatima Mynsong, Acquiline Songthiang and Matilda Suting of the East Khasi Hills village.
Their “fault” was that they had sought information from the block development office to unearth “anomalies” in the job scheme implementation.
The women alleged that after the August 12 resolution, they were deprived of routine ration supplies and lost their right to claim benefits from the local Anganwadi centre.
When contacted, Jongksha headman Karmelin Rynjah defended the move, saying a “majority” in the village had endorsed the step.
“We found several anomalies in the implementation of work under the scheme and hence, we resorted to the RTI Act, 2005, to get the actual picture,” Fatima said today. She said they had filed the application in 2008 to uncover facts relating to construction of roads and ponds.
From the information furnished by the block office, inter alia, the women learned that six persons worked as general and skilled labourers simultaneously. They also found that the former village employment council (VEC) secretary, Trilinda Rynjah held three job cards.
The women had made appeals to the DRDA project director on October 23, 2008 and February 2, 2009. In addition, they also made an appeal to the community and rural development department on April 23, 2009 and the department conducted an inquiry on May 21, 2009.
Community and rural development department director Freeman Kharlyngdoh said various anomalies were unearthed through the inquiry. “It was found that there was no accountability on the part of the VEC,” he said.
The official said the job cards with forged signatures on them were actually possessed by the VEC, in violation of the norms.
The women have now approached the Meghalaya Right to Information Movement hoping that their struggle would come to its logical end.
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