The Congress had on Tuesday demanded judicial enquiry against NGOs misappropriating AIDS
control fund through enrolling ordinary women as sex workers in Tripura. The party has also demanded a white paper on whole gamut of AIDS campaign in the state.
Meanwhile tension prevailing in Kailashahar in north Tripura where NGO Action Aid allegedly enrolled six hundred housewives from weaker sections as sex workers to manipulate fund meant for Targeted Interventions (TI) programme. An angry mob ransacked its office and damaged equipments on Monday evening.
“The situation is tensed in Kailashahar as people are very upset over what has had happed for several years. Besides Action Aid, 13 more NGOs are engaged in TI campaign and we doubt thousands of women were shamed with sex worker stigma by money mongers”, veteran Congress leader Birajit Sinha told a news conference.
He complained the government is trying to hush up a ‘very sensitive issue’ by instituting a simple enquiry. He alleged ruling CPI(M) leaders are involved in the NGOs and they did not expect a fair probe.
When asked how CPI(M) is involved, he replied senior CPI(M) leader Yunus Miah Khadim who unsuccessfully contested 2008 assembly elections is a key functionary in the Action Aid.
“Only judicial enquiry can unearth the truth. At the same time the state government must release a white paper to explain everything on AIDS programmes in Tripura”, Mr. Sinha added.
Tripura State AIDS Control Society (TSACS) selected the NGOs for the central government aided TI programme in state. The scam came to light after a sacked official of Acton Aid spoke in public over the irregularities in the NGO.
Meanwhile security forces deployed in different localities of Kailashahar after an angry mob attacked and damaged properties in Action Aid office. Protest rallies were also organised in the area.
ActionAid India (www.actionaid.org/india) has clarified that it has nothing to do with the NGO in Tripura that has used its name and allegedly indulged in manipulation of records for the purpose of collecting funds. "ActionAid takes great pride in its transparency and accountability that it holds as a key value in its mission to alleviate poverty," according to Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, ActionAid India.