Sarva Siksha Abhiyan falls prey to fraudsters

Fake organisations use similar name and logo to cheat people with the promise of jobs

The name Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) is becoming a soft target for cheating people on the promise of jobs. Within nine months, a second case of such fraudulent organisations which use similar name and logo as the central scheme and promises lucrative salary packages has been discovered by the directorate of the mission in the state.

State Project Officer of SSA, Uttar Pradesh, Atul Kumar, has written to all the district magistrates (DMs) in the state alerting them regarding two such organisations.

The first is Sarva Sulabh Suraksha Karyakram, run by an organisation called Lawrence Educational and Development Society, which, as per its website, promises opening of new schools, providing uncooked food, dress and books to students like in Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, and salaries to coordinators ranging from Rs 2,500 to Rs 30,000 per month.

For appointment of coordinators and other staff, the organisation is charging fee from Rs 750 to Rs 3,550, for different categories. The website also claims funding from The Pahwa International Society for Child Care, New Delhi, registered under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976, as per the website. The director of the programme is Pradeep Kumar Ashthana and the address of the society is Azamgarh.

Kumar, in his letter to the DMs, said that the usage of logo of Government of India, using a logo and name quite similar to that of SSA, as well as its promise of opening schools whereas schools cannot be opened without approval and recognition by the state government, is suspicious.

"The present cases promise very high salaries, use logos similar to the government scheme and has kept the eligibility as only intermediate pass," Kumar told The Indian Express. Kumar has asked the DMs to probe the matter and intimate the directorate regarding any objectionable elements.

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