Thiruvananthapuram: As the government of Kerala prepares to implement an ambitious rail project spending over 1 lakh crore, the reality is that the government is not even bothering to spend enough money on granting ‘medical assistance to survivors of sexual assault in the state.
Hundreds of unlucky women and children who have been sexually assaulted have long awaited the release of medical aid from the government’s relief fund.
The existing fund has been exhausted and the Department of Women’s and Children’s Development has now approached the government to sanction an amount of Rs 1 crore to finance the relief program.
The increase in the number of applicants is cited as the reason for the current crisis. Of the 291 claims that were approved, nearly 200 were from survivors of various POCSO cases.
Reduction of compensation
Meanwhile, the Department of Women’s and Children’s Development has come up with a new proposal that children, who have faced “lesser sexual assault”, should receive only Rs 10,000 instead of 50,000 Rs fixed earlier.
The department also introduced a new condition that applicants must apply for the allowance within three months of registering the FIR at the police station.
When the program was launched in 2018-19, R 3 crore was separated. But since the project was launched in December, the full amount could not be distributed within the deadline. In the following years, only 2 crore rupees were separated each year for the program.
In the past two years, only Rs 1 crore has been spent on the Rs 2 crore annual fund. But this year, the Rs 2 crore fund ran out in November itself, with nearly four months remaining for the end of the year. It is only if the Ministry of Finance releases funds that applicants will be able to obtain medical aid this year.
Although the government has cut aid for “lesser sexual assault” by a fifth, it has doubled aid for burn victims to more than 50 percent. Previously, those who suffered from the acid attack received compensation of up to Rs 2 lakh. But now, any survivor who received more than 50 percent of the burns, is eligible for compensation up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh.
Maximum aid Rs 2 lakh
Those who survived rape and sexual assault would receive compensation in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. Those who became pregnant due to rape would receive an additional amount of Rs 1 lakh.
If loss of life or loss of a body part is reported, compensation is Rs 50,000. Survivors of human trafficking will receive Rs 50,000. Compensation for people with physical and physical problems. psychological effects due to domestic violence is also set at Rs 50,000.
How to claim
Survivors of sexual assault must file a claim with the district child protection officer or district women’s protection officer within six months of the case being registered.
After completing the investigation, the relevant officer will forward the request to the Nirbhaya State Cell. Once the request is received on site, the money will be deposited into the survivor’s account within two weeks.