Boudh: Collector Satyaranjan Sahoo had courted controversy with a letter seeking financial contribution from owners of medicine shops in the district for the Red Cross Fund.
In a letter to the Boudh Drugs Inspector dated 10 October 2022, the Collector has given the former an ‘annual contribution target’ of Rs 15 lakh @ Rs 10,000 per medicine store for the financial year 2022-23.
The official mentioned in the letter that it has been decided to increase and diversify the activities of District Red Cross Society with public services like Medical Camps, Sanitation Drives, Plantation Drives, Blood Donation Camps and other humanitarian activities, for which a pool of Rs 2 crore during the current financial year is necessary.
“Your valuable cooperation and contribution is solicited to increase the District Red Cross Fund. This fund is the major source of the District Administration for providing help to the needy and destitute people during their most vulnerable hour. It has been decided to increase and diversify the activities of District Red Cross Society by venturing into new areas of public services like Medical Camps, Sanitation Drives, Plantation Drives, Blood Donation Camps and other humanitarian activities which will benefit the common people of the district at large. To carry out these activities, it has been decided to maintain a pool of Rs 2 crores during the current financial year,” Sahoo wrote in the letter.
“Your past contributions to the District Red Cross Fund is highly appreciated. In order to ensure your participation in our future noble endeavors, you are being provided with an annual contribution target of sum of Rs 15 lakhs (@Rs. 10,000/ per Medicine Store) for the financial year 2022-23,” he added.
The move has drawn criticism from several quarters. With Boudh having around 140 medicine stores and many of those being in rural areas, the shopkeepers have expressed displeasure over the decision of the Collector.