Friday, March 06, 2015

Modi's office sees rape centres as a 'waste of money'

"Two rapes occur every hour in India, reveal National Crime Record Bureau statistics.

The statistics also show an 837% increase in rape cases in the last five decades with the police having registered over 250,000 cases.

Conviction rates, in contrast, remain at an abysmal 20% and sometimes lower.

Given this worrying scenario, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi's proposal to start 660 Nirbhaya Centres -- one in each of the 640 districts and another 20 in the six metros -- was hailed by women activists as a positive step forward.
Shockingly, the Prime Minister's Office shot down Gandhi's proposal, describing it as a waste of money and suggesting that the centres be set up in existing government hospitals.

The PMO also slashed the budget for the rape crisis centres from Rs 245 crore (Rs 2.45 billion) to Rs 18 crore (Rs 180 million) and insisted that only 36 such centres would be set up -- one in each state -- with locations being decided by the state governments.
"The previous (United Progressive Alliance) government had held several rounds of discussions on starting these rape centres with activist groups who had helped prepare a blueprint for the scheme. Maneka Gandhi was only going to implement a project which had been discussed threadbare in the preceding years. The present government's move has, therefore, come as a great shock," she said." from

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