Period of one month is over on Friday for furnishing information by UP government under RTI application filed by UPCC Chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi in the presence of Rahul Gandhi.
It has been engaging attention of the UPA government that crores of rupees made available by Central government to UP state under Nation Rural Health Mission and Janani Surakhsha Yojana were not being spent for improving health services for poor people living in rural areas. There have been lots of complaints from people that medical services in the rural areas are almost non-existent and funds for that purpose were be misappropriated by state officials.
It is said there are patients but no beds in the rural hospitals. Drugs and medicines are not available at these hospitals and dispensaries. Many rural hospitals are without doctors. The sufferings of the people are increasing day by day.
Janani Surakhsha Yojana was launched by the Central government for the welfare of the women belonging to below poverty line (BPL).The object was to reduce over all maternal mortality ratio and infant mortality rate, by increasing institutional deliveries from BPL families. This programme is so welfare oriented and progressive that apart from free hospital services even financial help is accorded to the women.
There have been constant complaints that the funds provided by the Central government under these welfare schemes were embezzled in league with state government officials. A state minister is alleged to have been involved in siphoning off the funds in conspiracy with state drug mafia. Later the minister had to resign for his misdoings.
The race for loot of the funds became so much intense that it led to the murder of two successive Chief Medical Officers dealing with the two schemes. The situation became so grim that people came out on the roads. The Congress Party demanded CBI probe but the Mayawati govenmnent did not agree fearing that the truth might tar the image of the BSP government.
In response to the feelings of people against the UP government for misappropriation of funds, UPCC Chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi filed RTI application with UP State Health Department for seeking information district-wise about the funds expanded and the details of persons with their addresses whom the medical services were provided.
The state government was to provide the information within the statutory period of 30 days which period expired on Friday. It is believed that the skeletons from the NRHM closet have potential to beat the Bhatta Parsaul saga. There is already a tacit government’s admission that there was corruption and siphoning off of the funds.
Documents pertaining to the second application which seeks details about the number of Janani Surakhsha Yojana beneficiaries in all 72 districts may be even more damaging for the Mayawati government.
It is conspicuous to note that no other party has come forward to join this serious issue the poor people are facing in Uttar Pradesh except the Congress party under leadership of Rahul Gandhi. In any case sooner or later the state government will have to furnish the information and account for its misdeeds. The state government can delay but cannot deny the information under RTI Act.