One Stop Centre Scheme and the Nirbhaya Fund. What’s the connect?

Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), has formulated a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for setting up One Stop Centres (OSC), to be funded from the Nirbhaya Fund.

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Aim?

  • Centres will be established across the country to provide integrated support and assistance under one roof to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces
  • An integrated range of services including medical, legal, and psychological support
  • In the first phase, one OSC will initially be established in each State/UT
  • The OSC will be integrated with 181 and other existing helplines

What’s 181? It is the women in distress helpline number. It was recently in news when this helpline for women in Delhi was transferred under the Delhi Commission for Women with the AAP government handing over its charge to the panel.

Implementation guidelines and appraisal process?

  • The implementation guidelines have a prescribed proforma, for the submission of proposal for the establishment OSCs by States/UTs.

The term pro forma (Latin for “as a matter of form” or “for the sake of form”) is most often used to describe a practice or document that is provided as a courtesy and/or satisfies minimum requirements, conforms to a norm or doctrine, tends to be performed perfunctorily and/or is considered a formality.

  • Feedback received from states/ UTs will be examined by a Programme Approval Board (PAB) to be constituted in the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

 

Concerns? Areas of improvements?

  • While providing counselling, can these centres be equipped with a direct line to state police stations to file FIRs? Online FIR system for sex related violence may be a possible solution
  • How would these centres fare against the AFSPA provisions which guarantee safeguards for the security personnel?
  • The Nirbhaya fund, though allocated, has still not been utilised to the full capacity

Read here and here about how OSC comprise only a small %utilisation of the otherwise 3,000cr heavy Nirbhaya fund.

Questions

1. What has the GoI done with Nirbhaya fund since its inception in 2013? Mark out the small or big schemes (along with ministries) where the funds’ utilisation was pegged to bring about a social change?

Hint: In the fiscal year 2013-2014, one proposal was made by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and the Ministry of Railways each.

 

 

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