No one in the rehabilitation center has any account of Tk 4 crore 40 lakh for the rehabilitation of street children. Despite the government’s allocation, the disadvantaged children are not getting the benefits of these projects properly. Experts believe that such activities have turned into institutional corruption mainly due to lack of accountability and supervision. Sociologists say the main purpose of the project will remain elusive if irregularities in such initiatives with uprooted children are not stopped.
Eight-year-old Tarek spent his days on the road after his father died. The only way to survive is to get two meals a day. The demand for warm clothes is a mere luxury for him. On this platform in Kamalapur, you can find many children who spend every day, every moment in extreme misery.
Various government departments have long-term projects to build the future of disadvantaged children. There is a government shelter just a few yards away from Kamalapur railway station. Street children complain that they are not allowed to enter if they go there. Evidence of this can be seen in the street children arguing with a worker who came to visit the Mill Field.
They could not show any paper if they wanted to see the daily expenses in the two shelters. If you want to know about this, you are asked to contact Shah Alam, Consult Manager of the program. Although he was able to reach her after several days, he avoided looking at the camera.
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The investigation shows that there are irregularities and corruption in the rehabilitation of children at different costs. The government allocates 130 rupees per day for children’s lunch. However, no one agreed to open his mouth in front of the camera when asked about the amount of money spent.
If you want to know about the street child rehabilitation program director. Abul Hossain could not show any account file or paper of the last three years of the rehabilitation center. “It’s not possible for him to keep so many accounts,” he said. And the calculation that he gave immediately with a pen in hand does not match the reality.
He says, 5 months house rent, the cost of the program is 1 crore 25 lakh rupees.
Time news goes to the government account building in search of this account. There is no accounting information. They say, all the documents are to the program director. Despite repeated calls, no senior official, including the secretary, agreed to speak on camera.
Meanwhile, when the Ministry of Social Welfare went to the Sheikh Russell Child Rehabilitation Center in Tongi for another project for the rehabilitation of street children, the reporter of Samay Sangbad was not allowed to enter after seeing the camera.
TIB Executive Director. Iftekharuzzaman says that due to lack of proper monitoring, the money for these activities is not reaching the disadvantaged. He advised to prevent government corruption by holding those concerned accountable.
He said that in everything, irregularities have taken an institutional form here. And those who are involved in it have taken advantage of it. This is because of the lack of monitoring and control of the concerned ministry. I think there is a kind of conspiracy going on here. There is a lot of supportive power with those who are doing this. They are getting the benefit from it. So they have to be held accountable.
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Sociologists say that despite the government’s allocation, due to the lack of proper implementation and care of the project, these children are involved in various crimes and child labor; Which is an omen for the society.
Salma Akhter, a professor of sociology at Dhaka University, said, “If street children are on the way, we will fail three SDGs directly.” It will be impossible to fulfill the vision of the government and after 10 years these children will be the burden of the country, they will be involved in various social crimes. The purpose of these projects is to create skilled manpower and if we do not do that then we will also suffer economically.
According to the 2015 census, the number of street children in the country is more than 1 million. Although there is no new research after that, the researchers fear that the number of epidemics is increasing.
Every year, the government has a multi-crore project in the budget to bring these children back into the mainstream of society and lead a healthy and beautiful life. However, the extent to which these projects are being implemented can be understood by looking at the pictures of these children on the way.