Project for street children under scanner

Complaints of poor implementation pour in, panel to visit centres providing services

Complaints against organisations implementing the "Gharte" project of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to improve quality of life of street children has prompted the Women and Child Welfare Committee to pay visits to the centres that provide services for street children on behalf of the civic body.

"There are four organisations implementing the Gharte project for the PMC. There have been complaints from corporators and other citizens over poor implementation of projects by some organisations," said Hanumant Nazirkar, who is in charge of the Urban Community Development department of the PMC.

He said the civic administration has proposed re-appointment of three of the four organisations to the job while inviting expression of interest from other organisations.

"The idea is to extend the service further and ensure that all street children benefit. However, the final decision would be taken by the committee after personal visit to the centres opened for the purpose," Nazirkar said.

PMC launched the project in 2007 to provide shelter for street children and bring them into the mainstream by inculcating in them values and educating them. The street children were provided with clothing, food and education free of cost at select civic properties.

It could manage to get 350 street children to benefit from the project and wants to extend the service.

The PMC is funding the entire project and implementing it through social organisations for which it incurred an expenditure of Rs 61,651 every month per 20 children.

The PMC is ready to increase in Gharte funding as demanded by the organisations, but with a rider that it would incur only 75 per cent of the total expenditure as against complete funding now. "It has been learnt that a few organisations are seeking funding from private organisations by showing work done on the PMC project. Thus, it has been proposed that 25 per cent of the total cost be borne by organisations implementing the project," he added.

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