90% of NGOs seeking funds under WCD scheme found fake

In a disturbing revelation, the women and child development (WCD) ministry has found that nearly 90% of around 1,400 NGOs seeking financial grants under a major training and employment scheme were fake.

Top officials in the ministry said applications were invited from NGOs to impart skill development training to women in rural areas under its Support to Training and Employment Programme (STEP) which has a corpus of Rs 30 crore.

“We had received 1,400 to 1,500 applications of which 90% are fake. The scrutiny of applications revealed that most of the NGOs have applied multiple times giving false names and details,” a senior official said.

STEP is a major programme being implemented by WCD ministry, aimed at providing employability skills to women. The official said the ministry has decided to upload the names of all fake NGOs on its website so that they can be “exposed” and “identified” by other ministries as well.

The last date of submission of project proposals by NGOs for financial assistance under the scheme for 2015-16 was March 31.

Applications were sought by the ministry from NGOs after the scheme was revised by WCD minister Maneka Gandhi to improve its implementation.

The ministry had earlier issued an advisory to all NGOs which had applied for financial grants under the scheme to impart training to women in sectors like carpentry, plumbing, electrical works and even construction and IT.

The STEP scheme has already covered 24,037 beneficiaries in 2014-15 and 31,478 beneficiaries in 2013-14. The number stood at 30,481 in the 2012-13.


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