Dimapur, May 18: The Nagaland Vigilance Commission has established prime facia case against six persons, including four Government servants, an ex-minister and his son for misappropriation of Rs 5.16 crores of Inclusive Education for the Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) funds under the State School Education Department.
According to information received from the Vigilance Commission through RTI application, investigation has determined that the individuals misappropriated Rs 5.16 crores of the IEDSS funds meant to provide benefits and facilities to integrate students with disabilities into the education system. The case was chargesheeted in December 2017 and is now under trial in the court of Special Judge, Vigilance Commission.
Out of the Rs 5.16 crores misappropriated, Rs 40,77,650 was recovered during investigation and kept in custody for evidence in the court.
The officials and private individuals named for the misappropriation are Dr Chubanungsang, Joint Director & Project Director of IEDSS scheme; Imtionen, Assistant Programme Officer (IEDSS); Y. Daniel Lotha, Junior Education Officer; B. Tingshem Konyak, Director (Rtd), School Education; Nyeiwang Konyak, former Minister, School Education, Nagaland and Sammy Konyak, Class-I Govt Registered Contractor & Suppliers (son of Nyeiwang Konyak).
State Vigilance Commission (SVC) informed that the Ministry of Human Resource Department (MHRD) released Rs 24,15,63,764 for implementation of IEDSS scheme in Nagaland during the year 2011-12 & 2012-13. The State Government released Rs 12,79,50,000 to the School Education Department during 20l1-12 &20l3.
As per record, the School Education Department utilised Rs 12,79,50,000 on the following components for implementation of the scheme for 4047 disabled students at secondary stage (Class 9-12) ‹luring 2011-12 & 2012-13; salary & allowances for 391 Special Education Teachers (SET); salary for 212 helpers; construction of 60 Resource Rooms at 60 GHSS/GHS; purchase of various Equipments & Materials for the disabled; disbursement of Stipends & Allowances to 4047 disabled beneficiaries; salary for staff under IEDSS Cell; and conduct of various training programmes in the state and districts levels.
However, investigation revealed that out of 4047 disabled students shown by the department as beneficiaries, only 1430 disabled students were genuine and the rest were bogus. Out of 391 SET shown appointed by the department, only 360 were genuine teachers, 19 were bogus and 12 had resigned. Salaries were released for all 391 teachers.
The investigation also revealed that out of 212 helpers shown appointed, only 63 were genuine and salary for the rest 169 helpers was misappropriated/misused; out of 60 resource rooms, only six sub-standard resource rooms were constructed and fund for the rest 54 rooms was misappropriated. Out of 4047 disabled students listed as beneficiaries, only 68 received stipend/allowances but not in full and fund for the rest of the beneficiaries was misappropriated. Investigation further revealed that equipments and materials were not procured in full but were shown as procured and issued to all the districts and Schools and fund was misappropriated, It also found that money was not paid in full to the District Education Officers for conduct of various programmes in the districts.
On action taken against the accused, the State Government has placed the services of Dr Chubanungsang, Joint Director & Project Director (IEDSS); Imtionen, Assistant Programme Officer (IEDSS) and Y. Daniel Lotha, Junior Education Officer, under suspension from October 2017 and sanctions were accorded for prosecuting them in the court of law for misappropriation of IEDSS scheme fund.
According to Disability Rights Activist, Diethono Nakhro, who filed the RTI, this is a classic case of unscrupulous individuals colluding to deprive the most marginalised and disadvantaged sections of society.
She said majority of children with disabilities in Nagaland cannot attend school or get a full and proper education. Many of them will probably never enter a classroom because of the numerous barriers they face – inaccessible environments, lack of facilities, lack of trained teachers, stigma and lack of disability understanding and so on, she said.
Nakhro said the Centrally Sponsored IEDSS Scheme aims to enable all students with disabilities completing eight years of elementary schooling an opportunity to complete four years of secondary schooling (classes IX to XII) in an inclusive and enabling environment
“The invisible and forgotten children with disabilities continue to live in the shadows of our society while the money meant to help improve the quality of their lives have gone to fund the lifestyle of the corrupt and immoral,” she said.
Nakhro said it is the demand of People with Disabilities of Nagaland that the case is swiftly dealt with and exemplary convictions handed out to those responsible to serve as deterrent to future similar crimes. She also demanded that the Government lay out a plan to fully recover the stolen funds from the culprits. (Page News Service)
Officials and private individuals charged
1. Dr Chubanungsang – Joint Director & Project Director of IEDSS scheme
2. Mr Imtionen – Assistant Programme Officer (IEDSS)
3. Mr Y. Daniel Lotha – Junior Education Officer
4. Mr B. Tingshem Konyak – Director (Rtd), School Education
5. Mr Nyeiwang Konyak – Former Minister, School Education, Nagaland
6. Mr Sammy Konyak, S/o Nyeiwang Konyak, & Suppliers, Former Minister – Class-I Govt Registered Contractor
(Source: RTI Reply)