Rs 1,000 crore allocated for women, but funds lying unused

DCW wants Centre to decentralise Nirbhaya fund so that states can use them efficiently.

New Delhi: After the brutal gangrape and murder of the 23-year-old girl and subsequent protests, the then Manmohan Singh government started the Nirbhaya fund in the remembrance of the paramedic student.

The Central government had allocated about Rs 1,000 crore under the Nirbhaya Fund scheme for women safety measures across the country in the last fiscal. Of this amount, a major chunk remained unspent, leading to large-scale criticism of various government agencies for their non-serious approach.

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has been asking the Union government to decentralise the Nirbhaya fund so that states can use to effectively curb crimes against women. It has maintained that the fund will not be utilised fully until the fund is disbursed to the states.

The commission had earlier recommended utilisation of the find for installation of cameras in police stations, schools and buses all over the country, for setting up forensic labs, one stop centers and rehabilitation centers of acid attack victims and human trafficking victims as well as for ensuring welfare of women and girls residing in Nari Niketans.

While not all of these demands have been met, as far as Delhi is concerned, the city government has already opened three one-stop rape crisis centres in different government hospitals.

The Delhi government had earlier sought the Nirbhaya fund for installation of CCTV cameras in DTC buses but the file kept pending with the Central Government, which later rejected the proposal.

However, in the current fiscal, the Delhi police have been allocated more than eight time the amount under the Nirbhaya fund to enhance women safety measures in the national capital. In his budgetary allocation, Union finance minister Arun Jaitely allocated Rs 28.90 crore against last year’s Rs 3.40 crore.

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