June 28, 2014 2:20:52 am
The state government will soon expand the ambit of its Manodhairya scheme to include victims who suffer burn injuries due to domestic violence or dowry harassment.
Launched in October 2013 in the wake of the public outrage over the Shakti Mills gang rape case, the scheme is currently meant for victims of acid attacks, child abuse and rape. It provides for financial support, legal aid, medical help, counselling and vocational training, if required, in all such cases.
While compensation for victims of child abuse and rape ranges from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, victims of acid attacks are given Rs 50,000 with the amount going up to Rs 3 lakh in cases where there is permanent disfigurement and handicap.
“We have asked for data on burn injury cases from the home department. This will help us lay down rules on the amount of compensation depending on the percentage of burns and the severity of the case,” said Woman and Child Development (WCD) Minister Varsha Gaikwad. She added that her department was yet to decide on whether the compensation should be awarded to those who suffered injuries on the face or to women with 50 per cent or more burns on their body.
The current budgetary provision under the scheme is for Rs 15 crore, of which Rs 5 crore has been disbursed by the state to date.
The WCD department had recorded a total of 1,112 cases until May-end this year, of which money has been released in 512 cases while another 292 are under process.
However, much of the institutional mechanism, including the appointment of district-level trauma teams meant to serve as the first point of contact for victims through a 24-hour helpline, as well as sensitization of the police force, are yet to be put in order.
Ujjwal Uke, principal secretary for the WCD Department, said, “There are some teething troubles. We will be soon issuing a government resolution for setting up the trauma teams. Since many of the victims do not have a bank accounts to which the compensation cheques can be issued, district officials have raised the issue of opening zero-balance accounts with the state, nationalized and cooperative banks, where the identity of the women would be protected,” Uke said.
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