A recurring feature of Budgets since 2013 has been an allocation made to the Nirbhaya fund—so named after the Delhi gangrape braveheart. There is every likelihood that this year too, an allocation will be announced, to ensure the security of women. But, as a Times of India report highlights, this could well end up as an addition to the unspent corpus accumulated over the past few years—while the government has devised two scheme in 2015-16, one under the transport ministry and one under the home ministry, funds earmarked under both have not been utilised.
What is troubling is that schemes to ensure women’s safety have not been implemented.
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At a time when incidence of crimes against the women are on a rise—latest National Crime Record Bureau data for 2015 suggests a 34% rise in the crimes against women in the last four years—the government needs to step on the gas to put in place the requisite infrastructure and features that provide security to women. It needs to set goals for implementation of such programmes, like it has done for Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan or Jan Dhan Yojana; only then will the intent behind the Nirbhaya fund be realised.