Nirbhaya Fund Remains Under-utilized even as Crimes against Women Soar
New Delhi, Aug 13: While the stalking of an IAS officer's daughter in Chandigarh last week and release of the accused from the police station itself once again established how weak and vulnerable women are in our society, the government statistics reveals that the much-hyped Nirbhaya Fund, set up in 2013 to enhance women's safety and security in the wake of the infamous Delhi gang-rape case, remains under-utilized.
Every year, the central government makes a budgetary allocation of Rs 550 crore under the Nirbhaya Fund "for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security for women in the country". Even though crimes against women are soaring, not even half of the amount was spent in the year 2016-17, reveals an RTI reply received by RTI activist Mohd. Sharib.
As per the information provided by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, the nodal ministry to implement the Nirbhaya Fund, out of the total of Rs 550 crore in 2016-17, only Rs 232.62 crore was sanctioned for different schemes - and the large chunk (Rs 190 crore) of that amount was sanctioned for creation of the Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF) under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
While one-third of the current financial year 2017-18 has passed, only Rs 70.68 crore have been released by 28th July 2017 - Rs 58.64 crore of it for the Abhaya project for safety of women and girl child of the Andhra Pradesh government.
The Nirbhaya Fund remains under-utilized probably for want of schemes and plans for safety of women.
The Fund was created in memory of a paramedical student who was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus in Delhi in Dec 2012. She succumbed to the brutal wounds. Her rapists have been awarded death sentence by the Delhi High Court.