Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Time lag in compensation for rape, sexual assault victims

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Posted: June 7, 2014 4:50 am

There have been 1,112  claimants to financial relief under the ‘Manodhairya Yojana’ launched last October for survivors of acid attacks and victims of rape and other sexual crimes. They were mostly rape and sexual abuse victims, and by the end of May, 512 across the state were sanctioned relief under the scheme.

Within six months of the launched of the scheme following the gangrape of a Mumbai-based photojournalist, Rs 5.40 crore was disbursed to to 220 survivors of atrocities, according to sources.  In Pune, only one victim got financial relief though 61 had applied and sanction had been given for relief to five. Financial, medical and legal aid, besides rehabilitation and counselling are offered under the scheme.

Women and Child Development Minister Varsha Gaikwad is focusing on more fast track courts to expedite pending cases. According to Gaikwad, the majority of victims are minor girls.

After the launch of Manodhairya to provide speedy compensation to rape and acid attack financial aid in five of the 61 cases have been sanctioned. One received the amount, and she was a rape victim.  District Women and Child Development Officer Meenakshi Birajdar told Newsline that a board chaired by the collector which includes a district civil surgeon and women and child development officers decides the compensation case by case.

“Once an FIR is lodged, the case is reported to the board and we examine details. At times it is difficult to track down the rape victim. However, we have been able to trace a rape victim from Nepal,” Birajdar said.

While an initial amount of Rs 15 crore has been sanctioned, the recent cabinet meeting made provisions to allocate Rs 25 crore more for the scheme, WCD officials said. Kiran Moghe, president of the state branch of the All India Democratic Women’s Association, said it was vital to ensure board members met regularly to provide speedy compensation to survivors of atrocities against women.

In Thane, 189 cases, the highest in the state, were registered and financial aid ranging from Rs 2-3 lakh was sanctioned to 77 victims. Ahmednagar had the least cases, 2.  In Mumbai, of the 25 cases, compensation has been sanctioned for eight and the amount actually transferred to three. In Chandrapur, 24 of the 92 cases have been sanctioned the amount and 11 handed over the compensation.

Acid attack victims whose faces are completely disfigured or suffer from physical handicap are given Rs 3 lakh, and those with minor injuries Rs 50,000.

Human rights activist Aseem Sarode said the gangrape of the photojournalist may have prompted the state to start the scheme but women subjected to such acts prior to launch of Manodhairya being left out was
unfair.

comments powered by Disqus
Featured ad: Discount Shopping