The Gujarat government which had been under fire for not utilising the funds issued by the Centre to be given as compensation for rape victims has finally managed to compensate 100 such victims in a short span of time since the beginning of 2013.
The government has so far disbursed Rs1.48 crore to various district boards formed by the government as part of the Centre’s Financial Assistance and Support Services to Victims of Rape: A Scheme for Restorative Justice. The boards in turn were to compensate the victims in their respective districts.
Of this, Rs32 lakh have been disbursed to 100 rape victims including Rs16 lakh for 20 victims in Ahmedabad alone. The highest number of compensations have been given in Rajkot where 26 victims were compensated Rs20,000 each amounting to Rs5,20,000.
Of the 26 district boards that have been given grants, only 13 have distributed the funds. In most districts except Ahmedabad, Sabarkantha-Himmatnagar and Rajkot the beneficiaries are in single digits.
Anju Sharma, secretary women and child development, and chairman of the state criminal injuries and relief rehabilitation board that looks at the distribution of compensation said each victim is given Rs20,000. “We are pro-actively pursuing the compensation matter. Now, even the police can report the matter and victims can later approach the boards for compensation,” said Sharma.
Another official, who wished to remain anonymous, said this was a central scheme and the state was to contribute just 25% of the funds for the same. “The centre is yet to release any fund but the state has already taken up the matter so that the victims can be compensated,” said the official.
The official also said that in many cases victims were unwilling to take the compensation fearing social stigma.