Minister wants Rs. 1,000-crore corpus for Women & Child Ministry; says its projects are limited by current allocation

The Union Women & Child Development Minister, Krishna Tirath, has staked claim to the Rs.1,000-crore Nirbhaya Fund. In letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi she has stated that while her Ministry was looking at strengthening its various projects and programmes, its “intent is limited by the budgetary allocation for its activities.”

Ms. Tirath wrote: “The Government should look at allocating the Nirbhaya fund or any other fund to the Ministry since we are already in the process of designing the details of the structure, scope and application of the Rs.1,000-crore Nirbhaya Fund.”

Further, presenting her Ministry’s case, Ms. Tirath said: “In view of the recent events related to the issue of safety and security of women there is an urgent need for convergent action across the Ministries. The Ministry of Women & Child Development can play a nodal role in attempting convergence.”

In the letter to the Union Finance Minister, Ms. Tirath has conveyed her apprehension about other Ministries too working at developing proposals under the Nirbhaya Fund.

She wrote: “As you may agree my Ministry being the nodal ministry for women, it would be appropriated if the task of co-ordination between other ministries who may have a role on the subject is entrusted to my Ministry with reference to developing a detailed plan for operationalisation of the Nirbhaya Fund.”

Ms. Tirath has further noted that she proposes to create a task force comprising representatives of the key ministries and other experts who can design the details of the fund and recommend a national strategy to end violence against girls and women and develop various deliverables and operational guidelines for utilisation of Nirbhaya Fund.

In her communication to Ms. Gandhi, Ms. Tirath said: “My Ministry has already chalked out a strategy to bring a change in the mindset of the public through the ahimsa messengers – a cadre of women girls and youth who will generate awareness about legal procedures and provisions to address and eliminate all forms of violence against women through Poorna Shakti Kendras at grassroots level and facilitate social/community mobilisation to fight social evils – this is one of the many plans that we have to ensure the overall security and development of women.”

More In: Delhi