New Delhi (NVI): The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today listed several steps the Government has taken to enhance the safety and security of women as well as their empowerment in the last seven years.
“To enhance the safety and security of women in the country, Ministry of Home Affairs has taken several initiatives which are funded by the Nirbhaya Fund. A separate Women Safety Division has also been set up in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to sensitize the States/UTs on women safety related issues including timely completion of investigation of sexual assault cases,” the Ministry said in a statement issued today on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The Ministry said that taking a tough stand against heinous incidents of sexual assaults, Government of India has made the punishment of rape more stringent through the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2018.
“To ensure the amendments in the law effectively translate at ground level various initiatives have been taken by MHA and their progress is continuously monitored. These include Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO), National Database of Sexual Offenders” (NDSO), Cri-MAC (Crime Multi-Agency Center) and New citizen Services. These IT initiatives help in timely and effective investigation. Home Minister Shri Amit Shah has strongly recommended the effective use of these online tools to all the States/UTs,” it said.
Apart from that, MHA said that projects funded by Nirbhaya Fund are also being fast-tracked by MHA to enhance the safety and security of women. ‘Emergency Response Support System (ERSS)’ is an example of such initiative, it said.
Cyber Crime Prevention against Women & Children is also a key focus area for MHA. Currently, 14 States including Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have set up Cyber Forensic Training Laboratory.
The Delhi Police has recruited Social Workers and Counsellors in Police Stations and Sub-Division level offices to encourage women to step up and report crimes without fear or shame, according to the Ministry. 19,316 sessions at an individual and joint level have been taken by Social Workers/Counsellors to stop the violence. Delhi Police has held 7550 sessions Self-Defence Technique Training Camps in which 14,82,481 School/College Girls, housewives, working women and less privileged children have been trained, MHA informed.
Among the projects funded by the Nirbhaya Fund, Safe City Projects in 8 cities (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai) are under implementation.
Another initiative by MHA to improve the administration of justice in India is by strengthening of Forensic Science Laboratories. “Forensic science is an important aspect of any criminal investigation, as it can allow the authorities in identifying suspect in a crime, determine the timeline and other details related to crime. To further improve the criminal investigation strengthening the Forensic Science facilities in the country is also funded by the Nirbhaya Fund,” MHA said.
In addition to this, the Government has sanctioned Rs 200 crore to States and Union Territories to set up Women Help Desks (WHDs) in police stations, and to set up/strengthen Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTU) in all districts of the country as also on vulnerable borders.
“The Government of India is committed to safety and security of women and children and many projects are underway which will not only make States/UTs a safe place to live but also empower the women of the country to live independently,” MHA said.