Referring to the political hullabaloo in Uttar Pradesh last month when state Chief Minister Mayawati was accused of not providing enough security to women and not enough compensation to rape victims, NGOs in the capital said that no amount of compensation to a rape victim can reassure a woman about her safety.
In a consultation organised by the Centre for Social Research (CSR) Thursday, its director Ranjana Kumari said that mere compensation to rape victims, without implementing stronger laws to tackle sexual offence towards women, holds no meaning.
"A steep rise in the cases of sexual harassment indicates a weak security system. Rape has now become an issue to be used politically to make disgusting statements and score political points. The protectors of law and order should at least tackle sexual offences with more sensitivity and care," she said.
According to CSR, on an average, a woman is raped every hour in the country, out of which only one in 70 cases get reported.
"People are now throwing light on the deplorable frequency of rape, with incidences that tend to focus on the urban educated, or on crimes linked to celebrities, like the case of Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja. Yet, the rural poor often get neglected as they are fearful of the consequences of reporting cases of rape and domestic violence,” Ranjana Kumari said.
Suggesting reforms, she said that a fast track judicial system for the rape victims and a stringent punishment for the accused is the need of the hour.
"The rape victim should be adequately rehabilitated and the government must also ensure a generous monetary compensation to help her in recovering from a disturbed state of mind,” she added.