Nirbhaya Fund Gathers Dust Despite Spike in Rape Cases, Some States Didn’t Spend a Single Penny Granted by Home Ministry
Telangana, which has been rocked by the rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian, spent just 4% of the Nirbhaya fund sanctioned for it, while Delhi, notorious as the rape capital of India, spent 5%.
Illustration by Mir Suhail
New Delhi: Five states and a Union Territory have not utilised a single penny of the Nirbhaya Fund granted to them by the Union Home Ministry to firm up women’s safety, the government has said in the Lok Sabha amid mounting outrage over the barbaric rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian in Telangana.
According to the data tabled by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, as of November 2019, more than 91% of the money sanctioned to the states and UTs by the home ministry remains unused. Of the Rs 1,672 crore allocated by the ministry, only Rs 147 crore has been used.
Of this, Rs 183 crore was allocated to Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura and Daman & Diu, but none of this amount was put to use to implement measure for the safety of women. Nearly Rs 150 crore was allocated to Maharashtra alone.
Telangana, which has been witnessing protest marches and political blame game since the veterinarian’s rape and murder came to light, had used just 4% or Rs 4.19 crore of the Rs 103 crore allocated to it, whereas Delhi, notorious as the rape capital of India, used only 5% of the Rs 390 crore sanctioned.
Apart from this, Telangana used a mere Rs 1.38 crore of the Rs 13.96 crore allocated to it under the Nirbhaya Fund to establish ‘One Stop Centres’ (OSCs) meant "to provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces and to facilitate immediate, emergency and non-emergency access to a range of services including medical, legal, psychological and counselling support under one roof."
Bihar, Karnataka, West Bengal, Delhi and Puducherry utilised zero percent of the nearly Rs 27 crore sanctioned to them for OSCs.
In similar complacency women’s safety, the entire Rs 78.96 crore released by the department of justice to 11 states remains unused. These states are Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tripura and Uttarakhand.
The Nirbhaya Fund was set up by the Congress-led UPA government in 2013 following the brutal gang rape and murder in Delhi of a physiotherapist who was christened ‘Nirbhaya’ or ‘fearless’ by the media.
The non-lapsable corpus fund parked with the Department of Economic Affairs under the finance ministry is meant for the implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security for women in the country.
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