After hanging fire since 2010, the government has finally decided to roll out a scheme to give all rape victims from families below the official poverty line a compensation of Rs.1.2 lakh, a top official of the women and child development ministry told HT on Tuesday.
The scheme “Financial Assistance and Support Services to Victims of Rape: A scheme for Restorative Justice” was announced by the Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry way back in 2010.
It could not be implemented so far due to bureaucratic red-tape but with the recent brutal gangrape and death of a woman in the Capital late last month, the government is keen to roll it out from April.
“We are planning to launch it from April 1,” Prem Narain, WCD secretary confirmed.
Although initially the WCD ministry had proposed Rs.2 lakh for all rape victims, regardless of their financial background, the Planning Commission put its foot down.
The plan panel felt that the aid should be restricted to those victims who are extremely poor. It therefore decided to offer such financial assistance to those women victims who hail from BPL households.
“The scheme could not take off because of delay on the part of the Planning Commission to approve the scheme. There were differing views between the Plan panel and the WCD ministry on who should be given the financial assistance. Now, the issue has been resolved,” said a government official.
Apart from financial assistance, the scheme will also provide support services such as shelter, counseling, medical aid, legal assistance, education and vocational training depending upon the need of the victim.
The WCD ministry will seek R800 crore (in the 12th Plan period) from the Centre to roll out the scheme.
“We will circulate a cabinet note soon,” said a WCD ministry official.
As of now, the ministry of social justice and empowerment already has a scheme to give compensation to the tune of Rs.1.2 lakh to rape victims belonging to Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribes.