Saturday, 25 September 2021

From Students' Federation of India, we would like to draw your attention towards the unabated cases of violence against women and the subsequent institutional failure in dealing with such cases in India. Apart from very low reporting rate and even lower conviction rate, all the bodies that were constituted to prevent sexual harassment have not been performing to its desired extent. For instance the status of 'Nirbhaya Fund' that has remained unused for years now, shows the apathy of Governments in implementation of the existing laws and mechanisms.

Daily news of rapes and cases of violence against women, marginalized and minority communities have now become the new normal. In last one month there have been at least 4 gang rape and subsequent murders which got enough media attention and there are many more. The recent incidents of rape against women have shaken the conscience of humanity, yet it has occupied the least priority of the authorities. The ruthless attack and humiliation to which women are exposed to, in this nation have chained them to their homes and patriarchal surroundings, snatching away from them the equal opportunity to take part in social movements and creative and productive growth of the country.

'Nirbhaya Fund' that was announced by the government in 2013 after widespread protest, to ensure the safety and security of women in India, has been an utter failure since the period of declaration. The ₹1000Cr allocation of 'Nirbhaya Fund' has been confined to mere papers, remaining untouched for one year after the announcement. The reports revealed that till 2019 around 90% of the sanctioned fund was not utilized and none of the states were reported to have used more than 50% of the fund.

This is a very serious concern with regard to where the country is heading towards. The negligence on the part of the Central Government is responsible for the addition of victims to the rape history of the nation. We urge for the change in circumstances by focusing more on the safety and security measures of women and children across the nation.

We are raising main demands:

1. Responsibilities have to be fixed for why and how the allocated funds remain unused, specially when cases of crime against women have drastically increased.

2. The funds need to be monitored by a high level parliamentary monitoring committee to avoid such situations in future.

3. There needs to be a public auditing of the Nirbhaya Fund with full transparency.

4. The funding in Nirbhaya fund needs to be increased.

Regards,

VP Sanu (President)
Mayukh Biswas (General Secretary)