NEW DELHI: An analysis of data shared by the government on Nirbhaya Fund for projects for women safety shows that of the Rs 2,264 crore (63% of the corpus of Rs 3,600 crore) allocated to states and UTs, around 89% of the sanctioned funds was not used.
No state has reported utilisation of over 50% of the fund, and Uttarakhand & Mizoram top the list with 50% utilisation, followed by Chhattisgarh (43%), Nagaland (39%) and Haryana (32%). Further, out of the 36 states and UTs for which data is available, utilisation in 18 states and UTs is less than 15%. NCT of Delhi has a poor 5% utilisation, as per the analysis that looked at data of all ministries that allocated funds.
The details submitted by states show 11% utilisation (Rs 252 crore) as per an analysis by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation of the data shared with Parliament. The national and statewise analyses draw from the women & child welfare ministry’s reply in the Lok Sabha on November 29. The utilisation certificates may not reflect actual use of funds as there is a lag in the process but the low figures are not likely to change significantly in terms of actual use of funds.
The researchers observe in the 50-page report that the percentage utilisation is just 25% in case of funds released by the ministry of road transport and highways, 19% for WCD, 9% for home affairs and nil in the case of the ministry of justice. The Nirbhaya Fund was created in the aftermath of the gang-rape and murder of a 23- year-old physiotherapy student in Delhi in December 2012.
Another glaring instance is of Maharashtra, where the utilisation details column reflects a zero. “According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s ‘Crime in India’ report 2017, Maharashtra ranks second in terms of number of crimes against women and third in terms of number of crimes against children,” it pointed out.
Recent cases of crimes against women and children that shocked the country took place in Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. The study reveals utilisation of allocated Nirbhaya Funds by Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana was only 6%. The figure for UP was 21%.
Almost three-fourths (74%) of the Nirbhaya Fund have been allocated for projects under the ministry of home affairs, followed by the ministry of women & child development (17%).
The Nirbhaya Fund was created to be utilised for projects specifically designed to improve the safety and security of women in public places. Over the past six years, the corpus has increased to Rs 3,600 crore. Though the fund was instituted in 2013, its disbursement gathered pace only from 2015.
The key schemes under which the states have been allocated money include emergency response support system, central victim compensation fund, cybercrime prevention against women and children, one-stop centre scheme, mahila police volunteers and universalisation of women helpline scheme.