Welcoming the allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for setting up a ‘Nirbhaya’ fund for women, activists have suggested the money be used for empowerment of women and gender sensitisation. The special fund comes after the December 16 gang rape in Delhi that sparked nationwide outrage.
“As more women enter public spaces — for education, work, access to services or leisure — there are more reports of violence against them. We stand in solidarity with our girl children and women," P Chidambaram, finance minister, said in his budget speech.
Prabhleen from NGO Jagori called Chidambaram's acknowledgement of women entering public spaces as a “dramatic shift in the government’s thinking”. She said funds needed to be spent for two major heads. "Urban planning needs to be more gender-sensitive by providing effective streetlights, safer public transport for safer mobility of women."
Another important thing is gender sensitisation and education, she said. "Education not just of students, but also of teachers," Prabhleen said.
Shabnam Hasmi of Anhad wanted a legal set-up to support women in distress. “But police and judiciary need to be trained extensively vis-à-vis interactions with women,” she added.