Karnataka has only four one stop crisis centres for rape survivors and a handful of forensic labs, which leads to the delay in medical reports in rape cases.
To help improve these harrowing conditions, the Karnataka State Legislative Committee for Women and Child welfare, on Monday, met with Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi to discuss these issues.
The committee, led by Congress party’s Shantinagar MLA, NA Haris, has appealed to the Union Minister to take stringent action against media outlets reporting cases of rape and child rape in an insensitive manner.
“The media in the state has become extremely insensitive while reporting cases relating to violence against women and children. It is necessary that the media enjoys freedom of speech, but the privacy and sentiments of the survivors of the crime also matters. They are the ones who have faced extreme trauma and insensitive reportage will hurt them even more. I have asked Union Minister Maneka Gandhi to look into this issue, which is getting bigger by the day,” MLA Haris told TNM.
Apart from the issue of insensitive reportage, the Legislative Committee has urged the Union Minister to allot more funds for setting up of one stop crisis centres for rape survivors in every district and also help in the setting up of state of the art forensic labs in these districts.
“In most of the rape cases and child abuse cases, the trials go on for years as the medical report itself takes very long to be delivered. This is because Karnataka has only a handful of forensic labs and the multitude of rape cases makes it difficult to process all the forensic evidence difficult. We have urged the Centre to take up this issue seriously,” Haris added.
The MLA said that the lack of one stop centres in most districts has led to the under reportage of such crimes.
The committee has reported to Maneka Gandhi, the inconsistencies in the Nirbhaya Fund payments to rape survivors and has asked the Centre to look into the reasons for the same.
“The Nirbhaya Fund allocates Rs 3 lakh for rape victims. In most of the cases across the state, the entire amount is not given to the victims at once. Some people have received only a part of the Rs 3 lakh they are entitled to. This has to be rectified immediately. We have urged Minister Maneka Gandhi to look into it,” he added.
The Legislative Committee has also taken up the matter of the increase in wages of Anganwadi workers and their assistants.
In March this year, thousands of Anganwadi workers had camped out for days in Bengaluru’s Freedom Park and had demanded increased wages.
“They are receiving a mere Rs 7,000-8,000 now. The Centre had announced that Anganwadi workers must be paid a minimum of Rs 14,000. Half the funds are supposed to come from the Centre, which the state government has not received. We have discussed this issue as well,” MLA Haris said.