Nirbhaya Fund, named after the infamous Delhi gang-rape case of December 2012, is planning to establish help-desks for women across police stations in India. The Fund, which was established in 2013, will also set up anti-human trafficking units in all districts. The Women and Child Development Ministry is collaborating with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the same.
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani tweeted about the development a few days ago:
NIRBHAYA Fund will help set-up Women Help Desks in all Police Stations & Anti-Human Trafficking Units in all districts across the Nation. Initiative is an example of interdepartmental cooperation leading to effective governance under the leadership of PM @narendramodi Ji. pic.twitter.com/gkYsSuv5z6— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) November 2, 2019
Aiming to address the safety concerns of women and children, these initiatives are among the many that has been provided by the Nirbhaya fund. According to MWCD, Nirbhaya Fund was set up with a corpus of Rs. 1000 Cr. during 2013-14. Further, an amount of Rs 1000 Cr. was provided in 2014-15 and for the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18, an amount of Rs. 550 cr. (each financial year) was provided under the Nirbhaya Fund. The corpus transferred to the Public Account for the Nirbhaya fund up to 2017-18 is Rs. 3100 Crore.
Under the Nirbhaya fund, 22 proposals from Central and State governments – amounting to Rs.2209.19 crore – on women’s safety and security were recommended by the Empowered Committee till August 2017. By July 2019, 29 programmes - worth Rs.2250 crore - for women’s safety were planned to be implemented.
The earlier projects under Nirbhaya Fund included universalisation of women’s helpline, creation of Central Victim Compensation Fund, creation of Organised Crime Investigation Agency, creation of Investigative Units for Crime against Women, and cyber crime prevention against women and children, among others.
The MWCD has said that it is implementing three schemes under Nirbhaya Fund, namely, One Stop Centre (OSC), Women Helpline(WHL) and Mahila Police Volunteer. One Stop Centres facilitate access to a range of services including medical, legal, and psychological support to women affected by violence.
In April 2019, it was reported that Rs.2919.55 crore was sanctioned for the ‘Safe City Project’ under which safety for women will be ensured in public places in eight cities – Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, and Lucknow.