iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 01, 2014
Satyamev Jayate, the popular TV show by Bollywood actor Aamir Khan that focuses on social issues seems to have caught the fancy of the newly-appointed women and child development (WCD) minister Maneka Gandhi. Inspired by a recent episode of the show which dealt with the plight of rape victims, Gandhi has asked her officials, in a review meeting, to watch the episode and deliberate on solutions offered there before the ministry gets down to framing its own policy on rehabilitating rape victims.

“Since we are in the process of framing the policy we were told to get some new ideas from the programme,” said an official.

Gandhi in particular mentioned the urgent need to set up ‘one stop crisis centres’  as emphasised in the show, to provide support to rape victims.

Gandhi’s predecessor Krishna Tirath had on a number of occasions announced the setting up such centres along with a host of other schemes including a national helpline for women in distress and a compensation and rehabilitation packages for rape victims. But the schemes did not take off.   

However, with the BJP manifesto promising a safe and secure environment for women, Gandhi is keen that women-centric policies are implemented  quickly. “We have been directed to study the Bangladesh micro-financing model to help understand how it can be used to empower women here,” said an official.

Other issues that came up for discussion included the need to make affordable sanitary napkins available to women in rural areas and setting up more toilets for women.

Sources said the minister has also  asked officials to talk to various stakeholders to come up with a plan to simplify existing adoption procedures.