Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat president Koragappa Naik on Tuesday expressed unhappiness over the failure of the authorities to make use of the 3 per cent funds reserved for persons with disabilities, though nine months of the financial year have gone by.

Presiding over the meeting to review the Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) here, he said the funds had remained unspent in almost all the gram panchayats. The amount reserved for persons with disabilities in most of the departments remained unspent because the officials showed no interest in it.

A case in point was a tailoring training programme of the Social Welfare Department. Out of the 41 beneficiaries, not even one was a person with disabilities, an official admitted. Zilla Panchayat Deputy Secretary N.R. Umesh suggested the schemes be publicised.

Later, Mr. Naik told presspersons that at least about Rs. 1 crore allotted to persons with disabilities had remained unspent. The amount could be used to provide scholarships, wheel-chairs, to provide toilets, or repair their houses. Though there was a scheme under which anyone marrying a disabled person would get Rs. 50,000, it had not been implemented. At his insistence, a couple of eligible persons had been given the amount.

Earlier, the panchayat was told that more than 25 students had taken ill because of lack of cleanliness in the Morarji Desai Model School in Mundaje in Belthangady taluk recently. The officials said the children were treated at a hospital and steps were taken to maintain cleanliness of the premises.

The meeting was told that in all 141 cases of rat fever were reported in the district this year including 16 reported in November.

Anganwadi with cracks is "safe"

When an official report submitted to the Zilla Panchayat contended that the anganwadi building at Bandaru in Belthangady taluk was safe, Deputy Director of Women and Child Development Gertrude Veigas said her inspection had revealed that the building had many cracks and was unsafe for children.

So much so that classes were being held on rented premises.

When pointed out that an engineer had concluded that it was safe, she stuck to her view, adding, “I am not an expert though.” She suggested the zilla panchayat and experts could take an appropriate decision in the matter.

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