The state government's much-hyped scheme Usha Kiran Yojana, aimed to deal with the rising cases of domestice violence, has failed to make impact in the capital city.
According to National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) data, in comparison to 2012, MP registered 1,000 more cases of domestic violence in 2013. More than 400 calls complaining of domestic violence are registered in a month at One Stop Crises Centre, recently inaugurated in Bhopal by film actor Aamir Khan.
The victims have to wait for months, sometimes for years, to get justice in the cases of domestic violence. The scheme was launched by Women and Child Development Department (WCDD) with an aim to provide shelter, legal aid, immediate protection and counselling to the affected women and district protection officer was made responsible for implementing the scheme. But after six years, it is hard for victims to approach protection officer in most of the districts of MP.
One Stop Crises Centre head Shibani Seni said, "In 15 days, we receive about 200 calls and on an average get one FIR registered daily. But, whenever we need help of protection officer, we never get it. The problems, however, do not end with the protection officer. If a victim somehow submits the domestic incident report (DIR) to the court herself, they don't get legal aid. A woman, who suffered a lot and faced tough time due to domestic violence, had been moving from pillar to post for legal aid for the past three months. When she didn't get any help, we registered a fresh case on her complaint."
The condition is said to be even worse in far-flung rural areas. Woman activist Neera Soni from Shivpuri said, "In Chambal region, a large number of women approached us and said they don't want to go to police station, but want justice against brutality of their husbands and in-laws. We tried to extend help to them through Usha Kiran Scheme, but I never got any help for these victims. The scheme does not exist for all practical purposes."
Woman activist Upasna from Bhopal said, "The department never paid any attention on the quality of counsellors because women, who face the trauma, need good counsellors. There is need to provide separate counselling rooms and organisation of orientation and training programmes for counsellors. Government should regularly review the scheme, which is as important as launching it."
However, commissioner, women empowerment, Kalpana Shrivastava denied having any problem in implementation of the scheme. She said, "The scheme is being run efficiently by NGOs and NGOs concerned extend all help to the affected women. We release funds to the NGOs on the recommendation of district collectors only; so I don't think there is any problem in implementation of the scheme. Recently, we revisited the scheme and are going to open a centre at Gwalior, adjacent to the district hospital, to provide help to women affected by domestic violence."