Four rape victims in district, or kin survived by them, are still waiting for their compensation promised by the state government
The state government’s much-hyped Manodhairya scheme has failed to compensate rape victims and survivors in Pune district in a speedy manner. Irrespective of the claims made by the District Criminal Injuries and Rehabilitation Board (DCIRB) that it sanctioned funds worth Rs 2 lakh as compensation, not one of the them has yet received the amount.
In fact, officials of the District Women and Child Welfare (DWCW) department said the recompense is stuck in the pipeline owing to the model code of conduct declared in the state a month before the elections on April 17.
In December last year, the then district collector Vikas Deshmukh announced that the amount would be deposited to two of the victims’ bank accounts. However, six months have since elapsed and they are still to get the monetary aid promised to them.
“We have put up the file of compensation before the board a couple of times but due to the announcement of the model code of conduct, things couldn’t proceed further,” said DWCW officer Minakshi Birajdar.
Notably, the compensation announcement was made in December last year and the model code of conduct was declared on March 5 this year. The board had three months to make sure that the compensation reaches the victims.
Apart from these two, the DWCW department received two more rape cases. While compensation to the victims has been sanctioned, it hasn’t been wired to their bank accounts.
Asked whether these victims or their parents had bank accounts, the official responded that they would inquire about it once the code of conduct is relaxed.
The apathy of the district administration does not stop here. The DWCW department does not feel the necessity to keep tabs on whether one of the young survivors, a four-year-old raped by a 40-year-old and sent to a rehabilitation centre after the crime, is receiving education.
In defence, Birajdar said, “We don’t want to disturb the rape survivors by visiting them frequently. The rehabilitation centre has a nursery school and the girl could get admission there.”
The scheme, launched in October, aims to provide financial, medical and legal aid to rape victims and survivors, and rehabilitate child abuse and acid attack victims.
Activists believe the officials are being sluggish when it comes to handling the cases. “The lack of commitment and pro-activeness in handling such sensitive cases is the main reason behind this lethargic attitude of the officials responsible,” said human rights activist Rama Sarode. She added that schemes such as Manodhairya were instituted to provide immediate relief to the victims or their relatives, and the government should ensure that the compensation reaches them on an immediate basis.