Funds for Scheduled Castes diverted for Games: RTI activists

New Delhi, July 15 (Calcutta Tube) Civil society representatives Thursday alleged that the funds meant for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes were being diverted to Commonwealth Games projects.

According to Right to Information (RTI) activist and associate director, Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) Shivani Chaudhary, as much as Rs.744.35 crore from Delhi’s special component plan (SCP) – which aims to improving the standard of living of the poor sections of the community through various government schemes and programmes – was diverted to the Games projects.

‘The response to our RTI said that funds meant for the SCP have been allocated for the Commonwealth Games,’ Chaudhary said.

According to the information provided under the RTI Act, the transport, sports and youth and urban development departments and the Delhi Jal Board are among those which have diverted their funds.

‘The money has been stolen from these people and this is a criminal activity… all this is being done in the name of national prestige which can’t fill stomachs,’ said Miloon Kothari, executive director, HLRN.

He said that the government has failed to come up with the required fund that is why it is requesting the public sector undertakings (PSUs) to contribute the money.

Paul Divakar, general secretary of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, criticised the government’s claim that the developments will benefit the poor. ‘I want to know that how will a stadium or a an airport help the poor?’

HLRN demanded that there should be full public disclosure of all finances related to the Games, prosecution of the officials who diverted the funds and an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, among other measures.

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