After a delay of over six months, the BMC is now planning to set up a ‘one-stop crises centre’ at KEM Hospital in Mumbai.
The centre, which is being proposed as a drop-in centre for taking care of survivors of sexual assault, is scheduled to be inaugurated on August 15.
So far, the BMC has only appointed a coordinator for each hospital to assist any victim brought for examination. The victim is, however, still expected to go from one department to another for undergoing tests.
Civic corporators from the BJP on Friday held a meeting with the Municipal Commissioner, along with Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sadanand Date, head of the law department at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and health officials from the civic body. The BMC will conduct another round of meetings to decide on the standard operating procedure for all the stakeholders involved.
Head of the law department at TISS, Dr Asha Bajpai, who attended the meeting, said, “There will be another meeting in a couple of days for attributing roles to all us experts. Whatever we demanded has been looked into in starting these one-point crises centres.”
Date told Newsline, “We have trained 600 police personnel in handling the cases of sexual assault. We have been supporting initiatives taken up for such cases and will continue to support them.”
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“We are aiming for an excellence centre that will take care of all the paramedical, medical, legal and social needs of the survivors of sexual assault at one place. In most of the cases, the victims are scared of their identity being revealed. This is a place where she would feel safe and will be treated with dignity,” said Ashish Shelar, BJP’s Mumbai chief. Over the past year, Maharashtra has seen a 16 per cent increase in child sexual harassment, a 13 per cent increase in rape and a three per cent increase in abuse and eve-teasing.
“The UPA government had failed to spend even a single rupee of the Rs 1,000 crore set aside as the Nirbhaya fund for improving the safety of women in India. The commissioner has in-principle accepted the proposal and we will send it to the Central government for fund allocation,” Shelar added.