NGO using govt seal to cheat unemployed
DURGAPUR/BOLPUR, March 19. — Government officials in the adjoining districts of Birbhum, Burdwan and Bankura have expressed concern over the functioning of an NGO, which is using the national emblem on its letterheads and offering employment to the youth in the districts, allegedly in lieu of “suitable payment”. The officials cannot take any steps against the NGO as none of the cheated youth have lodged a complaint.
The NGO, Krishi Bikash Shilpa Kendra, according to a membership form served by it, has a “Record Office” at Sainthia, Birbhum and also a “Management Office” at Suri, Birbhum. According to the NGO’s official notification, it was established in 1983 under the “20 point programme” of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, to encourage economic stability in the BPL class.
The organisation has apparently cheated about 60 unemployed youth from remote villages in Labpur and Nanoor blocks in Birbhum. They were issued appointment letters, bearing the national seal, 18 months ago. Each of them has allegedly paid Rs 50,000 to 70,000 for job. One such youth told The Statesman: “I paid Rs 20,000 and was told that I will be able to join as soon as a case, which is pending in the Supreme Court, is disposed. The officials, however, assured me that they would offer me a job within a couple of months.” But the promised job did not materialise. The NGO’s office at Nanoor is now under lock and key.
It was learnt from the youth gathered on the office premises that about Rs 20 to 25 lakh has been collected by the NGO from unemployed youth in Birbhum. Burdwan DM Mr Subrata Gupta said: “The national emblem can in no circumstance be used by an NGO or any other private organisation. It can only be used by the government.” But he said: “We are expecting an official complaint against the NGO by the victimised youth.”
Birbhum ASP Mr SK Maiti said they had not received any complaints about the fraud. “Unless we receive a complaint from the victimised persons, we can not initiate a probe.” — Kanchan Siddiqui and Pranesh Sarkar