VGF rice is not for the rich! | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 30, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 30, 2019

editorial

VGF rice is not for the rich!

Investigate and punish the culprits

It is outrageous that a much-needed programme like the vulnerable group feeding (VGF) be misused like this. A number of well-to-do families in Narayanpur union under Chougachha upazila of Jashore district got the shock of their lives when they received VGF rice before Eid-ul-Azha. Not only that, VGF rice in the area was supposed to be distributed before the Eid holidays and when the news about corruption taking place broke, local representatives hurried to prepare a list and get rid of rice stocks. Unfortunately, as so happens when criminals are pressed for time to cover their tracks, a number of wealthy persons ended up on the list and that is how we came to know about the scam. Rice was distributed to some 830 families in three villages of ward No. 7. Even the head of Jamaat-e-Islami of Narayanpur union got rice, although by his own admission, he does not qualify to be on the VGF list. Dead people, too, are on the list, and this is where the misappropriation is taking place in earnest. Upazila parishad members have been trying to shift the blame onto others, claims that are hotly contested by the accused persons. Given the circumstances, it is high time that the concerned ministry launch a probe into the whole programme nationwide to find out what is going on elsewhere and take legal actions against the guilty parties. The importance of VGF cannot be understated as it ensures food security for poor and destitute people and contributes to poverty reduction through temporary support to poor populations.

 

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