Nirbhaya Fund Scheme: Towards a new Dawn

Nirbhaya fund : complete details about the schemes under it, challenges,recent issue of unutilized fund, and impact.

Nirbhaya Fund Schemes:Toward a new Dawn

“I raise my voice-not so i can shout,so that those without a voice can be heard. “

                                                                                                                  – Malala YousafzaiI

INTRODUCTION:

In this patriarchal society,  the convectional norms for a women is fixed and bounded in the fetters. At on end of the spectrum, there are a group of the people that are trying to break this stereotypical norms attached to  women paving way for their empowerment and gender equality. But the dark side of this revolutionary process of empowerment cannot be overlooked.The other end of the spectrum is full of women abuses that includes domestic violence,eve teasing,mental and physical harassment,acid attack and even as drastic and disgraceful as rape of a woman( girls and even female infants of as young as 8 months).The embarrassing and disgraceful incident of 16th of December ” NIRBHAYA RAPE CASE” in New Delhi,the capital city of India is one of instance of such holocaust deeds on women. Nirbhaya (fearless) was the pseudonym given to the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim to hide her actual identity and this scheme was influenced by her struggling yet optimistic spirits towards life.

In a bid to counter such abuses against women and girls, Nirbhaya Fund was announced in 2013 Union Budget by finance minister, P. Chidambaram of UPA government head by PM DR. MANMOHAN SINGH  to support initiatives by the government and NGOs working towards protecting the dignity and ensuring safety of women in India. The fund was started with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore. The Fund is administered by Department of Economic Affair (DEA) of the finance ministry.The Nirbhaya fund as of now has a total corpus of Rs 3,000 crore. Rs 1,000 crore each was allocated to the fund since its initiation in 2014-15 and 2015-16 in addition to its initial corpus of Rs 1,000 crore.

MORE ABOUT NIRBHAYA FUND :

A committee comprising officials from various ministries, including women and child development, home affairs, road transport and railways, had been constituted to approve schemes proposed under the Nirbhaya Fund.MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT  is the nodal Ministry to appraise schemes under the Nirbhaya Fund. The ministry also reviews and monitors the progress of sanctioned Schemes in conjunction with other Ministries/Departments.  From time to time, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) issues guidelines for administration and operationalisation of the Fund.

It had envisaged installing panic buttons in cellphones SOS ALERT BUTTON , setting up CCTV cameras and GPS tracking in public transport and employing women conductors, among other measures, but most of these remain a distant dream three years later.A programme named SHUBH was decided to launch for mapping the vulnerable areas with respect to safety of women.

Schemes under Nirbhaya Fund:

Ministry of Women and Child Development

Ministry of Women and Child Development has initiated three schemes under the Nirbhaya Fund. They are:

  • One Stop Centre: These are popularly known as Sakhi Centres. The scheme began to function across India from April 2015. The scheme aims to establish centres to facilitate women who are victims of violence. The Centres provide first aid, medical aid, police assistance, legal aid and counselling support. About 186 centres will be made operational by July, 2017.
  • Universalisation of Women Helpline: The Department of Telecommunication has allocated the number 181 for women helpline. As of now, Women Helplines are already operational in 18 States/UTs. These helpline numbers will link the One Stop Centres being established under the Nirbhaya Fund.
  • Mahila Police Volunteer scheme: Mahila Police Volunteers (MPVs) is envisaged to act as a link between police and community and help women in distress. Haryana has become the first state to start this scheme in December, 2016. Other States are expected to follow suit.

Schemes of Ministry of Home Affairs:

  • Emergency Response support System: Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) envisages an integrated computer aided emergency response platform that aims to ensure speedy assistance to the distressed persons.
  • Central Victim Compensation Fund: Central Victim Compensation Scheme (CVCF) has been framed under section 357A of CrPC. Under this initiative a Corpus Fund will be disbursed to States/UT to facilitate States/UTs in providing compensation to the victim (including survivors of rape and acid attack) or her dependents who have suffered loss or injury as a result of the crime.

Schemes of Ministry of Railways:

  • Integrated Emergency Response Management System: This will provide round the clock security to women passengers in 983 Railway Stations across the country by strengthening of security arrangements of Railways with Security Helpline, Medical Facilities, RPF and police, installation of CCTV cameras, etc.
  • Abhaya Project Proposal (Andhra Pradesh): Abhaya Project is a proposal proposed by Andhra Pradesh for ensuring the safety of Women and Girl child during the transport (auto rickshaw).
  • CHIRALI-Friends Forever (Rajasthan): Under this scheme, Community Action Groups in 7 districts of Rajasthan has been constituted for a period of three years from 2016-17 to 2018-19 to create an enabling environment to support girls and women to move freely and make use of opportunities for their overall well being.

For more details VISIT : http://www.wcd.nic.in/acts/nirbhaya-fund-guidelines

Challenges to the Nirbhaya Fund:

The implementation of the Central Victim Compensation Fund  is a matter of concern. Only 25, out of 29 states so far had notified the scheme. Under this scheme, the states were supposed to set up one-stop crisis centres in each district. Accordingly, 653 crisis centres were supposed to be operational across the country. But till date it is not yet clear how many such crisis centres have been set up.

Also, there is no uniformity among the states in implementing the schemes. There also exists difference in the compensation paid by the states. While some states pay Rs 10 lakh few others pay only Rs 50,000 to the survivors who were victims of crimes.

Moreover, every state government is required to prepare a scheme for providing funds in co-ordination with the Central government for the purpose of compensation to victims or their dependents of the crime and require rehabilitation. But the ground reality is haphazard.

RECENT ISSUES WITH NIRBHAYA FUND:

Despite getting the maximum amount of allocation under the Nirbhaya Fund, Madhya Pradesh had only spent around Rs one crore on 1,951 rape victims i.e Rs.6500 per victim.

The government has been accused of keeping Nirbhaya Fund unutilised. With rise in cases of sexual harassment and crimes against women there is a crying need for implementation of such funds.

The Supreme Court has urged the government to formulate a national policy as different states have different schemes and there is no national plan for proper rehabilitation of rape survivors. By naming the fund as “just a lip service”, the Supreme Court has asked the Indian government to make sure that adequate relief is being provided to the victims of sexual offences and acid attack saviours.

CONCLUSION:

In the era where WOMAN EMPOWERMENT AND GENDER EQUALITY are the burning issues of discussion, there have been a continuous threat for their safety and dignity as well. Nirbhaya Fund for protection of women has no doubt receive unprecedented focus in governance and politics .Its high time since government should improve coordination between the ministries for speedier implementation of projects under the schemes of this nature. Delay caused by lengthy inert-ministerial coordination must not be allowed to compromise women’s safety and must act proactively on delivering equality and security to women.

RESPECT WOMEN ,WOMEN ARE THE REAL ARCHITECT OF THE SOCIETY!

RESPECT WOMEN ,WOMEN ARE THE REAL ARCHITECT OF THE SOCIETY!

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