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NRHAM SCAM


HISTORY OF NRHAM SCAM
The National Rural Health Mission more commonly known as NRHM is a central government program designed to refine and boost the health care delivery which was concentrated in the rural areas. Soon this National Rural Health Mission program came up to be a corruption scandal in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The health related indicators mark the state of Uttar Pradesh in a very risky category. When compared with the national figure of the country, the infant mortality rate and the maternal mortality rate is about 69 against 55 for the former and 440 against the national figure of 254 for the latter. The infrastructure of the health centers in the state is extremely poor where it runs short of nearly 5823 Sub-centers, 700 Primary Health Centers and 582 Community Health Centers. The existence of functional labor room where itself a question mark in sub-centers especially in districts like Shravasti where there were no functional labor rooms.


NATIONAL RURAL HEALTH MISSION CAME FORWARD TO FUND THE UP GOVERNMENT
The case is not only with the infra structure but also with the manpower which remains windswept. Uttar Pradesh needs 515 Obstetricians & Gynaecologists at CHCs but only 131 doctors were in place, leading to a shortfall of 384 medical professionals. The state needs a total of 7295 nurses and mid-wives but the state only has half the number. The above mentioned figures are quite alarming but however the state of Uttar Pradesh has not bothered much about the situation. With such as the situation the National Rural Health Mission came forward to fund the UP government to work on the NRHM program which was unfortunately misused and the money was instead swindled by the politicians, the bureaucrats and other government officials of the state.

COMPARATIVE STATEMENTS AND QUOTATIONS
The NRHM scam involves top politicians of the state and a number of bureaucrats who are supposed to have played a major role in this where they siphoned off a huge amount of money of nearly INR100 billion (US$1.7 billion) meant for the NRHM program. There are records which also state that nearly five people are said to have been murdered in an attempt to cover up large-scale irregularities. It is believed that several ministers of the then ruling government of Uttar Pradesh- the Bahujan Samaj Party was investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation. There were lot of inexactness in the payments made, tenders and purchases apart from the accepted quotation. It is surprise to know that purchases were made even without comparative statements and quotations. Repayments have been made to the same firm repeatedly for the same purchase.

INVESTIGATIONS
The public was shocked when the truth and the amount that went into this scam was revealed which is almost about enough to feed nearly 1000 people for at least the next 300 years. The NRHM was revealed to public and came into light only after two top health functionary of the district who were in the cadre of Chief Medical Officers were killed. The Chief Medical officer namely Dr. Vinod Arya who was murdered in Oct 2010 in a wealthier locality of Lucknow was shot dead by motorcycle assassins just in front of his house in broad daylight. Very closely followed in April 2011 another top Medical officer Dr. B. P. Singh was murdered in a similar way to that of Dr. Vinod Arya in Lucknow. After various investigations the police arrested the Deputy-CMO Y.S. Sachan who was believed to have had a role in the murder of both the Chief Medical Officers.

ACCUSED OF NRHM SCAM
But unfortunately he died of obscure nature while he was in custody. This was closely followed by the death of three other office bearers in a very suspicious situation. Finally the case was r-offered by the Central Bureau of Investigation to T D Dogra of AIIMS, New Delhi who examined the different stages of occurrence and put forward results in favor of suicide. Also during 2012 of February, the Mayawati government was held accused by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for the NRHM scam stating that they misused the NRHM funds.The first charge sheet related to NRHM scam was filed on 3rd April in 2012 by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the former general manager of Construction and Design Services, PK Jain, the project manager BN Srivastava, resident engineer Kataar Singh, project engineer BN Ram, accountant JK Singh, Naresh Grover and R K Singh who were the Managing Directors of two different private firms.

THE CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation all the above mentioned accused were the prime cause of a loss of about INR 54.6 million during the working on the upgrading project of the hospitals in nearly 134 districts.(US$920,000). Thus for the up- gradation project of the hospitals in the 134 districts, the Construction and Design Services, a unit of the UP Jal Nigam was granted an amount of nearly INR134 million (US$2.3 million). The Jal Nigam unit further outsourced this job to a Ghaziabad based firm which had obtained the tender on the basis of bogus and forged documents. During the investigation done by the CBI it was found that the Ghaziabad firm used all sub- standard material for the construction and in the up -gradation process and caused a major loss to the exchequer.The CBI filed the second charge sheet on 4th April 2012 stating that nearly INR44.2 million (US$750,000) of money was granted for the contract signed for the medical equipment procurement.

DIRECTOR GENERAL OF FAMILY WELFARE THROUGH UPSIC
However according to the investigation report it is said that this money was transferred based on an earlier decided manner to two Moradabad based firms by the then Director General of Family Welfare through UPSIC. This resulted in a loss of about Rs 15 million to the exchequer. Some of the other names which were recorded in the charge sheets were former Uttar Pradesh director general of Family Welfare, SP Ram, former Managing Director of Uttar Pradesh Small Industries Corporation, Abhay Kumar Bajpai, the area manager Sanjeev Kumar and owner of a private firm Saurabh Jain. Subsequently on April 5th 2012 another charge sheet was filed by the CBI on grounds of irregularities in purchase of 951 computers and peripherals under the NRHM which resulted in a loss of INR2.78 crores (US$470,000) to the exchequer. The accused involved in this charge sheet were GK Batra, managing director of Uttar Pradesh Public Sector Undertaking Shreeton India Limited, Virender Goel owner of Axis Marketing and Neeraj Upadhyaya owner of Radhey Shyam Enterprises.

PEOPLE INVOLVED
NRHM SCAM
However much before all these charge sheets were filed even in November 2011 and at the time of Mayawati's government, Babu Singh Kushwaha, former Minister of Family Welfare and health minister Anant Kumar Mishra were forced to resign because of the pressure from the media side was high regarding the murder of the two Chief Medical Officers which was left unattended and no steps were taken to solve the issue. From various grounds it is noted that Babu Singh Kushwaha was a very close confidant of the then Chief Minister Mayawati. But the greatest controversy was that immediately after Babu Singh Kushwaha's resignation he immediately joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Earlier in July 2011, Lucknow chief medical officer Dr A.K. Shukla was arrested on charge of misappropriation of funds entrusted in him on behalf of NRHM. During the investigation process by the CBI and on February 2012 Babu Singh Khushwaha was suspected to be one of the main accused of the various murder related to the NRHM scam.

YOUTH CONGRESS
National Rural Health Mission
The first application on the NRHM scam was filed by the Congress General Secretary Shri Rahul Gandhi under the Right to Information Act in Lucknow on April 29, 2011. A social audit was carried out by the Youth Congress for a better understanding of the scam even as the state government was taking every possible step for the truth not to be exposed. But on the other hand the Youth Congress was working and planning much more to ensure that they come out of the entire maze created by the then government of the state so that the truth is not revealed. In order to identify the highest spending block on the NRHM project, The Right to Information application was filed across nearly 25 districts of the state by the Youth Congress. But however only 12 district administrations responded to it and they are namely Balrampur, Shravasti, Barabanki, Amethi, Rae Bareli, Lucknow, Hardoi, Sitapur, Ramabai Nagar, Kanpur, Kanshi Ram Nagar and Aligarh.

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