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In India, we have a lot of welfare schemes aimed at helping the poor. The greatest challenge is to ensure the funds and schemes are meeting their goals. (A simple but a very expectation in the Indian scenario.)  In the administrative and bureaucracy chaos, the common folks always bear the brunt. One such incident in the news occurred in Tamil Nadu. But given the current state of our country, I am positive, that this indicates a trend prevalent all over the country.

The Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam (AGAMT) is scheme set up by the Tamil Nadu government and aims at providing resources, services and infrastructure in rural areas. It was introduced in January 2007 and is valid until December 2012. Some of the features of this scheme include:

  • At least one Pond/Oorani is to be constructed at a cost of Rs.3-5 lakhs in each AGAMT village and it should have Bathing ghat, Baby pond, Retaining wall etc. 
  • A School Sports Centre at an outlay of up to Rs.1.5 lakhs or Community Sports Centre at an outlay of up to Rs.1 lakh is to be put up in each AGAMT village. 
  • Burial ground in each AGAMT village will be improved with approach road, Compound wall, Cremation shed, Water facility and Lighting. 
  • A library will be opened in each AGAMT village. A new building may be constructed or an existing building may be modified suitably and books worth at least Rs.50,000 are to be bought and furniture worth Rs.50,000 procured for the library. An Honorary Librarian is to be appointed for each AGAMT library.

Under the scheme, the Government had allocated Rs. 508 crores for 2,540 Village Panchayats during 2006-07 and Rs.511.86 crores for 2,534 Village Panchayats during 2007-08 at the rate of Rs. 20 lakhs per Village Panchayat. For 2008-09, the scheme is going to be taken up in 2,521 villages at an outlay of Rs. 509.64 crores. (http://india.gov.in/govt/viewscheme.php?schemeid=1313)

According to reports filed by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) no book was supplied to the rural libraries in the ‘audited villages’ even two years after the scheme was introduced.

It would seem objective to give a benefit of doubt to the administrators and say that they may be moving slow and taking their time to do their work. But, common sense does not permit going down that route and believes the money has gone into the pockets of the administrators. If only all the government schemes are implemented, and the government ensures they are implemented, it would benefit the rural and disadvantaged citizens of India.

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