Nirbhaya Centre, a one-stop facility for women affected by sexual violence, may come up in the district this year as the Patiala administration has allotted land for its construction.The union ministry of women and child development wrote to the state government and Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi on October 1 to identify and allocate land to set up the facility.
The centre will help provide quick relief to victims of sexual crimes.
As a part of the first phase, the Centre has decided to open 50 such centres across the country this year. The government has set a target of a total of 650 centres all over the country in future.
In her letter to the Patiala MP, union minister of women and child development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi indicated that the construction of the first 50 centres will rely on the response of the respective MP and the local administration.
Following this, MP Dr Gandhi forwarded the letter to Patiala deputy commissioner Varun Roojam who allotted 300 sq m land in Government Baghi Khana - a property of the public works department - behind Circuit House here.
"We have sent the proposal and all documents pertaining to the land allotment to the state government. Now, the state authorities will take up the case with the Centre," said Roojam.
However, the MP said he had sent the details directly to the union ministry, though the state government will follow up on the project.
"I have also sought time from the union minister and will personally persuade her to sanction funds to set up the centre in Patiala as the local administration has done a remarkable job in allotting the required land in no time," said Gandhi.
The centre has been named in honour of a 23-year-old girl who was brutally raped in Delhi in December 2012. She died subsequently.
How will it help?
The centre will have a dedicated helpline and immediate assistance will be given to women in distress.
In addition, medical assistance such as reference to hospitals, first-aid, help with lodging first information report (FIR) at the police station concerned, legal counselling through lawyers and video-conferencing to facilitate police proceedings will be provided.
Temporary shelter to victims and psycho-social support and counselling facilities will also be provided.
Civil society groups will conduct social audits of the centres every year and get feedback from those who availed the services.
The union government has already prepared a basic design of the building. This, along with details of operation, has been submitted to the finance ministry seeking funds.