Kerala to open 14 Nirbhaya centres with central aid

New Delhi: Kerala Health and Social Welfare Minister K K Shailaja today said her government is planning to open Nirbhaya centres to help women in distress in all 14 districts in the state.

"Union government has offered aid to set up the Nirbhaya centres in all districts of the state. We have to identify a place for the centre in all the 14 districts of the state and submit a report for further clearance," she said after meeting Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi.

Nirbhaya centres are a one-stop crisis centre for women in distress and are funded by the Union government. The proposed Nirbhaya centers would have facility to accommodate victims in case of emergencies and we plan to submit the report soon, the Minister added.

Shailaja also met Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot and said that she has got a very positive response from him for upgrading National Institute of Speech & Hearing (NISH) in Thiruvananthapuram to a Central University.

"Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot has proposed to upgrade NISH as a Central University and will be known as National University for Rehabilitation Sciences and Disability Studies," she said. The Minister also said that the state has sought Centre's assistance in providing Disability Cards to the 7 lakh differently-abled in the state.

"The Centre has promised to help the state government in providing the necessary software for the proposed Unique Identity Card for the differently-abled which will be linked with their Aadhar card," the Minister said. A mega medical camp is also being planned in Kannur in September to distribute assistive devices for the differently-abled with the Union government bearing all the expenses, she said.

The Minister also said that the state is planning to provide an insurance worth Rs 2 lakh for the differently-abled with an assistance from the Centre. Kerala government has also requested the Centre to provide the special package declared for the Endosulfan victims which was announced by the Union government following a direction from the Human Rights Commission.

Kerala Health Minister also announced the plan to launch a 'She Pad' project in higher secondary schools of the state. "Kerala State Women's Development Corporation will fund the project to distribute sanitary napkins, almirahs and incinerators to treat the pads in government higher secondary schools across the state," Shailaja said.

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