Assam’s former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has made the tall and amusing claim that there was no corruption during his 15-year rule. Of the countless instances of corruption during his regime, one that readily comes to mind is the case of the nine lakh mes of non-existent children that were registered in the State’s 61,810 regular anganwadis and the 390 bogus ones. Children of the age of six months to six years are supposed to be given nutritious food and pre-primary schooling at these anganwadis. In Assam, anganwadis have proved to be excellent means of siphoning out money. Given the fact that about five lakh children are born in Assam every year according to census reports, the simple way of making easy money was to show almost double the number of babies born every year and to pretend that every child born in Assam went to some anganwadi. During the last 15 years, this inflated and fictitious list of children (44,43,306 in place of about 30 or 32 lakh) has ebled over Rs 2,000 crore to be looted from the Social Welfare Department. And yet we are expected to believe that there was no corruption during Gogoi’s time!
The Child Welfare Scam