Sanjay Chauhan, an intelligence unit (LIU) investigating officer in Shamli, said, “Yes, we have received information about this fake scheme. Currently, we are trying to get hold of these forms and have also sent teams to various locations where women have been duped. We will soon get to the source of this fraud.”Another filed officer said, “Preliminary investigations suggest that agents of this scheme are part of a network whose kingpin is a woman from Baghpat. But we need to establish many other things, most importantly the extent of the fraud, before we move further.”
According to local residents, promoters of this fake scheme are mostly targeting semi-literate rural women. The scheme named after UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath states that “registered” unemployed women will be provided with items like soap, agarbattis, washing powder, etc. and will be entrusted with the task of packing these items to be sold at government-sponsored outlets. In lieu of these services, an amount of Rs 5,000 will be credited to their bank accounts every month.
To make the whole thing look genuine, proper documents are also required while filling up the forms which cost Rs 20 each. Saroj Kumari, a resident of Kandhla, said, “The agent had asked for two passport-size photos and a photocopy of our Aadhaar card.” Perpetrators of this fraud have roped in women agents to convince unsuspecting women to get “enrolled”.
Beena Devi, a resident of Mohalla Railpaar in Shamli, said, “So far I have filled only one form, but I have heard if you pay for two forms, you get more work.”
Investigating officers said since the amount is so paltry, most women don’t suspect anything fishy and deposit the money.
A similar, fictitious scheme by the name of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana’ was floated in January this year in which Rs 2 lakh in the bank accounts of those who had daughters enrolled in schools and colleges was promised.
Hundreds of thousands of people in various districts of UP had purchased the forms. Later, both the administration and Union ministry for women had clarified that no such scheme with monetary benefits had been announced by the Centre. On February 16, the central ministry issued a warning notice to the public to beware of such fraud. The ministry clarified that there was no such provision to dispense cash under the scheme.