Nagpur: The high-profile “Mahila Udyojika Melava” (Women Entrepreneurs’ Fair) being organised by Nagpur Municipal Corporation from March 6 to 13 at Kasturchand Park is turning out to be a flop show.
The ‘Melava’ was inaugurated with much fanfare but the floppy side of the event started showing up from the day one. Most of the stalls are empty and deserted as well. The reasons for the flop show could be attributed to many factors. Totally wrong time as vital exams are going on or about to start, dismal planning and policy on the part of Women and Children Welfare Committee of Nagpur Municipal Corporation, vested interests of dubious elements in the civic body and “corruption” played their role in turning the annual event a flop one. The shoddy organisation left many, including Mahila Bachat Gat representatives, disappointed.
A subtle hint of the shabby affairs was sensed on the inauguration day itself i e. on March 6. Union Surface Transport Minister and Nagpur MP Nitin Gadkari, who was inaugurator, was left fuming when he saw empty stalls. The Mayor and other office-bearers present on the occasion were at the receiving end of the boiling anger of Gadkari and had to take the brunt of a dressing down. On the other hand, the Mayor Pravin Datke’s words “all stalls have been booked” proved hollow, evidently. The Mayor had further said that over 150 stalls have been kept in waiting list.
Arrangments for setting up 300 stalls were made at the “Mahila Udyojika Melava.” Rs 300 each were to be charged for each stall for all the days. However, sources alleged that the gang involved in booking the stalls recovered Rs 300 each on daily basis.
Notably, for the publicity blitz, the NMC administration had pressed the services of a private firm at the cost of Rs 5.39 lakh. The said private accepted the work but the publicity was done by the Public Relations Department of NMC and not the firm. The Social Welfare Officer and Convener of Mahila Udyojika Melawa Sudha Iraskar refused to comment on the issue.
Exploitation of Mahila Bachat Gats:
It is pertinent to recall that several schemes run by Social Welfare Department are implemented through Mahila Bachat Gats (Women’s Groups) for the beneficiaries. However, it is alleged, the Mahila Bachat Gats have to face whimsical and fanciful attitude of Social Welfare Department in order top be part of the schemes. It is further alleged that the Social Welfare Officer, during her suspension period, had even issued a diktat to a Mahila Bachat Gat to help in election work of a Congress candidate from West Nagpur. If the Social Welfare Officer can play truant during the suspension period then one can imagine what extent she could go while holding the reins. This Social Welfare Officer recently formed the women employees union leaving the ruling party sulking.
– RAJEEV RANJAN KUSHWAHA ( firstname.lastname@example.org )