NIRBHAYA FUND

Following the gruesome gangrape that took place in Delhi in December 2012, the government of India set up a fund with the name Nirbhaya to be utilized specifically on the schemes and projects aimed at improving the safety and security of women.

The objective is to restrain the frequent abuses, violence, harassment, assaults, etc that women go through in India, which in turn affects their lives adversely in the society.

    The Nirbhaya Fund: 

  • Nirbhaya fund was formulated as a consequence of the horrible gangrape that transpired in Delhi in December 2012.
  • The Government of India proposed a 10 billion corpus in the Union Budget of 2013 and named it as Nirbhaya Fund.
  • The notion behind the Nirbhaya Fund framework is to support the initiatives and organizations working towards the enhancement and betterment of the safety and security of women.
  • The framework of the Nirbhaya fund provides for a non-lapsable fund for the safety and security of women.
  • It also provides for an Empowered Committee (EC) of officers chaired by the Secretary, MWCD to appraise and recommend proposals to be subsidized.
  • Furthermore, the framework also provides for the concerned Ministry/ Department to seek approval of the designated competent financial authority, as well as of the DEA for funding of such proposed schemes and proposals.

Schemes that run under the Nirbhaya Fund:

According to, during the period of 2106-2019, about 59 proposals/schemes were received by several ministries, state administration, and UT administrations.

Out of which 30 proposals were appraised and further recommended by the empowered committee of officers for funding under the Nirbhaya fund.

Major schemes that run under the Nirbhaya Fund:

One-Stop Centre: 

Prominently known as Sakhi Centres, the scheme started off in April 2015 all across India and aims to establish centers to assist women who are victims of any kind of physical, mental, financial  or emotional violence.

The centers facilitate these women by providing them with first aid, medical help, police assistance, legal assistance, and counseling.

The fund allocated to OSCs from 2016 to 2019 was of Rs 219 Crore, out of which about 53.98 crores, 24% of the total fund was utilized, according to the data presented by Smriti Irani in the month of November 2019.

Universalization of women helpline: Under this scheme, a helpline number 181 is allocated by the department of telecommunications. The number is linked to the established one-stop centers.

The scheme utilized 65% of the total fund allocated to it in the period of 2016 to 2019, which was a total sum of Rs 20.24 crores.

Mahila Police Volunteer

 The objective of this scheme is to create a link between police and community in order to help distressed women(women facing domestic violence, child marriage, dowry, and  harassment)  and fight the crimes against women.

As effective as the scheme sounds, it only used 2.24% of the total granted fund.

Schemes of Ministry of home affairs include the following:

  • Emergency Response Support System: It is an emergency response system consisting of a PAN-India single number (112) which is formulated to assist citizens in emergency or distress.
  • Central Victim Compensation fund: The scheme is created to disburse a corpus fund to states and UTs to provide the compensation to the victims including rape and acid attack survivors, and their family members who suffer the loss or injury as a ramification of crimes.

Schemes of Ministry of Railway include the following:

Abhaya Project: It is a proposal proposed by Andhra Pradesh to ensure the safety of women during transport.

Chirali: This scheme is implemented in Rajasthan to provide an environment where women can move freely and utilize the opportunities.

Features of Nirbhaya Fund:

The features incorporated in  the Nirbhaya Fund are as follows:  

  1. The immediate impact on the safety and concerns regarding the security of women. 
  2. Making the best use of already existing infrastructure
  3. Making ingenious use of technology.
  4. No reproduction of already existing government schemes or programs.
  5. Purveying for real-time intervention if possible. For example, in the case of CCTVs, there should be real-time monitoring of CCTV footage and quick response if there is a threat to women’s safety, rather than recording the events for evidence after the incident has taken place.
  6. Keeping stern privacy and confidentiality regarding women’s identity and information. For example, the placement of CCTVs in such a manner or in such places that it does not compromise or come in the way of women’s privacy.
  7. Clearly defining the role of all stakeholders

A simple definition of the project is as follows:

  1. Inputs that include materials required such as manpower, physical assets, financial resources, and so on.
  2. Activities that include considerations to be undertaken during the project cycle such as training, building infrastructure, and so on.
  3. Outputs that include the results of the project such as the number of people to whom the project reached, the area covered by the project, so on, and so forth.
  4. Measurable outcomes include the expected achievement of the project. For example, the installation of adequate CCTVs at crime-prone areas is a project output. The result of such a project could lead to a decrement in such heinous crimes.

Who monitors the Nirbhaya Fund:

  • The Department of Economic Affairs(DEA) of the ministry of finance is responsible for administering the fund.
  • In accordance with the framework of the Nirbhaya Fund, DEA is the concerned ministry to make any accretion into or withdrawal from the fund
  • The Ministry of women and Child Development acts as a nodal ministry to appraise and recommend the proposed schemes to be funded to DEA.
  • Furthermore, MWCH along with Empowered committees is also responsible for reviewing and monitoring the progress of the sanctioned schemes or projects in conjunction with the concerned ministries.

Some Statistics on the allocation and  utilization of funds:

  1. According to business standards, the data presented in November 2019 showed that the utilization certificates of Rs 147 were received from the state governments out of Rs 1649 cr granted by the center.
  2. Delhi was allocated the highest amount of Rs. 393.4 crores from the Nirbhaya fund.  Karnataka stood among the states which received the highest with ? 245.6 crores, followed by Tamil Nadu which received ? 208.9 crores.
  3. The state of Uttar Pradesh was granted a total sum of ? 195.5 crores while Maharashtra received ? 202.9 from the  Nirbhaya Fund.
  4. The states with the least amount were Sikkim with ? 8.6, Goa with 9.01 crores, Meghalaya with 12.3 crores, and Tripura with 13.22 crores.
  5. According to the site factly, only about 20% of the overall sanctioned fund for various schemes was utilized as per the data presented last year.
  6. As per the data analyzed in the month of November 2019, States and UTs including Manipur, Sikkim, Tripura, and Daman & Diu did not even spend a single penny from the fund allocated to them.
  7. To set up fast track special courts for disposing of pending cases under Rape and POCSO ACT, an amount of 78.9 cr was allocated to various states. However, according to the data, the fund went unutilized.
  8. The data stated that not even one state utilized over 50% of the total fund allocated to them, however, Uttarakhand and Mizoram came out to be at the top of the list by utilizing 50% of the fund granted to them.
  9. Maharashtra with utilization 0f 0.19 crores stood amongst the states that utilized the lowest of the allocated funds despite the fact that it was among the states which received the highest allocations.
  10. According to the Times of India,  researchers observe that the utilization was just about 25% in case of funds granted by the ministry of road transport and highways. In the case of WCD, the utilization remained at 19% while it was 9% for home affairs and the ministry of justice stood at nil.
  11. Even after all these schemes and allocations of funds, Telangana witnessed a gruesome gangrape followed by the murder of a 26 years old Vet. According to the data, Telegana only spent 4 crores out of the 103 crore funds allocated to it.

 As effective as the scheme sounds, the results are not effective at all, not even in the least. It’s good that the government is working towards resolving such issues and taking women empowerment into serious consideration, however, planning and making schemes won’t do any good in order to achieve the objective unless the execution is at its full tilt.
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By shristi | Updated on Tue, September 29, 2020 - 10:34:50 AM

Tags Women Safety