PATNA: The lone one-stop crisis centre for women in Bihar has not been running effectively owing to lack of resources.
The facility in Patna is one of the 600-odd Nirbhaya centres opened across the country to provide rape victims medical, police and legal facilities under one roof.
The Union ministry of women and child development had planned Nirbhaya centres in every state as a tribute to the victim of December 16, 2012 Delhi gangrape case. Each centre was to be given financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh for a unit launched in tandem with a hospital, besides Rs 46 lakh for a small permanent counselling structure.
But the state capital-based centre, which is located at Chhajju Bagh, has no such facility. If the victim needs to stay back for a night in the city, she is offered space at the short stay home in Patliputra Colony, about 6 km away from the Nirbhaya centre.
As the city celebrates the International Women’s Day on March 8, the plight of Nirbhaya centre proves that not much has changed with regard to such facilities.
“Though inaugurated on December 9 last year, the Patna centre has failed to take off. The reason is lack of resources. It has nothing except a room with four beds. Neither have any of the promised facilities been provided, nor have officials been employed. Instead, the crisis centre for women has been given added responsibility to manage things, including legal aspects,” a social welfare department official, who did not want to be quoted, said.
The centre does not have listed doctors or nurses, but just first aid kits. While such centres should have been equipped with facilities for medical examination of victims, each case brought here is referred to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH). To add, there is no person manning the centre after 5 pm.
“A Jehanabad case brought here was taken to PMCH and then remanded in a short stay home, which is meant for protecting women and adolescent girls from human trafficking and providing security to women victims of domestic violence,” said an official.
Though four homeguards were appointed to provide protection to the inmates, they have already resigned and now the crisis centre for women was at the disposal of a lone caretaker, the official added. The centre needed an in-residence official, the post of which was vacant, the official said.
Pramila Kumari, project coordinator, women helpline, said the victim from Jehanabad was shifted to short stay home for security reasons.
“We could not leave her alone at the Nirbhaya centre. Not just that, even basic facilities are not available. There is neither a kitchen, nor are there utensils to serve them food,” she said.