Despite grave allegations of mismanagement and financial irregularities at Bangabandhu Academy for Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development (Bapard), its authorities appear to be turning a blind eye.
Sources said the government in the last fiscal year had allocated Tk763,000 for two training courses on sewing and handicraft.
Sixty poor people were trained in the month-long courses conducted in June.
Several officials and employees, requesting anonymity, said half the money, meant for trainers’ remuneration, procuring training materials, and students’ dining and travel allowances, was misappropriated.
After the allegations surfaced, local journalists approached the academy’s Director General Md Abu Sayeed Fakir in early July, seeking information about how the project fund was used.
On July 13, he suggested them to fill up an RTA (Right to Information Act) form to get details about their queries.
But, six days later, Bapard Assistant Director Abdul Gani Miah returned the form and issued a letter to the reporters, claiming that the latter did not apply to the appropriate official to gather information.
He did not even mention who to contact in this regard.
Trainee Khadija Akter, wife of one Rasel Sheikh of Kotalipara upazila’s Hiron village, said she did not receive any dining allowances.
When contacted, Abdul Gani said he replied to the journalists within 10 days after they approached the Bapard chief.
Interestingly, he claimed that he is the official concerned to be contacted for any information.