Madhya Pradesh women and child development minister Maya Singh has said “Usha Kiran Kendras’ on the lines of “one-stop crisis centres” will be set up in every district of the state and will be run by the women’s empowerment cell.
The centres will provide assistance to women who are victims of violence, including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological harassment, economic abuse, trafficking, honour crimes, acid attacks and witch-hunting, she said.
The one-stop crisis centre, is an initiative of the Union women and child development ministry to provide all kinds of aid to women in distress including medical help, counselling, legal and police assistance, while ensuring anonymity of the victim.
The scheme was implemented on the recommendations of a committee that was set up in the aftermath of the public uproar against the December 16 gang-rape in Delhi.
The one-stop centre will be mandated to provide legal, medical and psychological assistance to distressed women.
“The victims will be provided support and assistance irrespective of age, class, caste, education status, marital status, race and culture,” she said.
The Usha Kiran Kendra scheme was first launched in 2007, two years after the Domestic Violence Act was passed.
The act aims to provide immediate relief to women who have suffered violence at home, requires infrastructure from the state for its implementation.
Under the act, a victim of violence is entitled to services from the state that includes medical and legal aid and counselling. The victim can access these facilities through a protection officer. The law makes provisions for right to residence, maintenance and custodial rights
The first one- stop crisis centre in the state was launched first in Bhopal in 2014 by actor Aamir Khan but run by an NGO on a limited budget, the centre failed to serve its purpose. Earlier there were three such centres in the state and were the staff was outsourced.
Centres will be set up in 51 districts in the state and will have will be staffed by a psychiatrist or a counsellor, a doctor, two legal experts and a couple of woman police constables besides having shelters home for women who have been abandoned by their families.
“This will be the first time that all the help and assistance for the usha kiran centres will be provided in house and will be available round-the-clock, no state other than MP will have such a facility in every district,” said Singh.
“The centres will be established in a phased manned and work has already started in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Gwalior and soon centres will be extended in other districts as well,” she said.
District collectors have been directed to open the centres at district hospitals, however if the space is unavailable then a place near the district hospital has to be chosen.
One-stop crisis centres
Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal was the first in the country to get a one stop crisis centre ‘Gauravi’ for women who are victims of violence. At the centre was set up in Jaiprakash Hospital with the support of NGO ActionAid
At the centres, victims can seek help by directly walking in or by calling a toll free number. Victims of rape, dowry harassment and domestic violence get medical aid and also help in filing FIRs, legal advice and psychological counselling.