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MP: Women safety in the red, but govt talks pink

Madhya Pradesh records the highest crimes against women in India and the situation on the ground is worsening every month in spite of high-decibel claims by politicians and bureaucrats, data shows.

bhopal Updated: Mar 08, 2016 12:23 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times
International Women’s Day,crimes against women,women safety
Madhya Pradesh records the highest crimes against women in the country.(HT file)

Madhya Pradesh records the highest crimes against women in India and the situation on the ground is worsening every month in spite of high-decibel claims by politicians and bureaucrats, data shows.

The state government appealed to officials and people to wear pink to mark International Women’s Day but experts say such ‘soft approach’ would do little to stem the spiralling number of crimes against women.

Gang-rapes a regular occurrence

Away from spotlight of the national media, cases similar to the December 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape are regularly reported from the state. A total of 434 juveniles were accused of rape in 2014 – the highest in India — against 347 in 2013 and 249 in 2012, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau. In January this year, a 4-year-old girl was raped in a school bus by its conductor in Ujjain.

State most unsafe for women in India

Between February 1 last year to January 31 this year, 4744 women were raped, half of which were from SC/ST category women, according to data presented in the state assembly recently. Of this, 2552 were minors. Data from NCRB says the state reports 14% of India’s total rape cases – the highest share.

Activist Rolly Shivhare said the increase in sexual violence was due to feudal and patriarchal mindset. “And I think overall approach of the state government is also lacking in some way,” she said. “Recently, despite CM talking so much about welfare of women in his speeches, (but) budgetary allocation for women and child welfare...has been decreased.”

Numerous women go missing

The MP government recently admitted in the state assembly that 26,997 cases of kidnapping/human trafficking/missing reports related to women were reported from November 11 to January. A total of 7,689 children were reported missing from MP in 2013 and 2014, the highest in the country, the minister of women and child welfare told Lok Sabha last year.

Sexual harassment is also a top concern in the state. MP’s women helpline 1090 received a complaint every 22 minutes last year (24,467 complaints annually) and most were related to sexual harassment and threat to women on mobile phones, according to police figures.

Women lagging behind in education

Female literacy in the state lags behind that of men — 59.2% compared to 78.7 %. Statistics for school enrollment for women also was lower than that of male students. “Getting a girl enrolled in a school doesn’t mean she will get educated. Unless one focuses on quality, there can be no empowerment of women”, said former chief secretary Nirmala Buch.

MP has 931 women to every 1,000 men, below the national average of 940. In rural MP, the sex ratio stands at 936 while for urban areas it is 918,.

Health of mothers and newborns

The state has the highest infant mortality rate (IMR) in the country along with Assam, with 54 children per 1,000 live births dying before their first birthday. Also, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in MP stands at 221 against 167 per 100,000 live births in the country. Sachin Jain, director of NGO Vikas Samvad, said the health of women and newborns couldn’t be improved without bolstering basic public healthcare system and increasing manpower.

One in 10 children born to girls under 19 years of age die. “Women should also be made aware of their rights and duties to fight against injustice,” said Upma Rai, former chairperson state women’s commission.

MP reports 14% of India’s total rape cases: NCRB

December 30: An 18-year-old woman was kidnapped and gangraped in Bhind. The accused burnt her private parts with acid

December 29: A 28-year-old woman raped inside a vehicle by an Ola Cab driver in Bhopal

December 22: A 14-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped and set ablaze at a village in Panna. She sustained 80% burns and died at a Rewa hospital

December 21: A 20-year-old girl was kidnapped and gang-raped by two men for up to six days in Bhind when she had gone to the market to bring medicine for her ailing father

January 2: A 14-year-old girl raped by a neighbour in Suklia village near Bhopal.

January 20: A homeopathy doctor allegedly raped a 32-year-old patient, who was suffering from gynaecological problem

January 30: A court in Seoni awards death sentence to 42-year-old farm labourer for raping and murdering his 13-year-old daughter in Seoni

January 18: A five-year-old girl allegedly raped and murdered by a 42-year-old man near famous Bhojpur temple in Bhopal

January 30: Two minor girls allegedly raped at gunpoint by two brothers in Bhind district

January 3: A 20-year-old man and his friend arrested for raping a 12-year-old girl and attacking her with a blade nearly 25 times in Hoshangabad

February 8: A 17-year-old girl raped and an MMS of the crime recorded by the accused in Jabalpur

February 25: A 25-year-old man allegedly raped a 24-year-old MBA student on the pretext of giving her a job in Bhopal

March 2: A six-year-old girl raped by a 17-year-old boy in Balaghat district

March 3: A 35-year-old woman allegedly raped by her landlord for the three years in Bajaria Bhopal, who also shot her MMS and threatened to make it viral if she refused his sexual advances.

First Published: Mar 08, 2016 12:22 IST