New Delhi: At least 660 rape crisis centres will be established across the country and named as Nirbhaya centres, as a tribute to the victim of December 16, 2012 Delhi gang-rape case. The centres will be set up in all the 640 districts and 20 additional locations in the country and the project will cost 477 crores approximately, Women and Child Development Ministry officials said. The Women and Child Development Ministry has already prepared the concept note which has been approved by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) and has been sent to various stakeholders like Ministry of Law, Finance, Tribal Affairs, Health, Social Justice and Empowerment and Minority Affairs seeking their suggestions.
These Nirbhaya Centres will act as one stop centre for women victims of molestation, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence and provide them medical assistance, police assistance, psycho-social support and counselling, legal aid and temporary shelter.
Under the medical assistance, victims of violence can approach the Nirbhaya centres where they will be provided medical assistance like referral to hospital and assisted in filing FIR. They will be counselled, provided legal aid and short stay with food and clothing at the centre itself along with the video conferencing facility.
“A retired police officer will posted at the centres to facilitate prompt and proper filing of FIR by the Ministry of Home Affairs, state or District. A list of lawyers will give legal aid to the victims.
“Nirbhaya centres initially will operate in rented premises and the shelter facility for the victims will be also arranged at the centre itself,” said a senior official from the WCD Ministry.
A National Taskforce will be created under the Chairpersonship of the Secretary of WCD and comprising of representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Health, Law and Justice, NALSA to monitor and evaluate the functioning of all the centres annually, the concept note says. Further, a Project Management Unit (PMU) will be set up which will act as the Secretariat to the National Task Force. The Centre will be open 24 hours with referral services. For administrative and functional autonomy, the Centre will be registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
The overall management of the centre will be undertaken by local management committee’s comprising of District Magistrate, Superitendent of Police, District Judge, Chairperson of the Bar Council, Chief Medical Officer, District Panchayat Officer and members of the Civil Society. The move is in line with the promise made by WCD minister Maneka Gandhi following the alleged gangrape of two teenage Dalit sisters in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh after she took charge as the Minister.
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