Fix separate budget for Domestic Violence Act: Women`s groups

Last Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 21:11

New Delhi: Ruing that the Protection of
Women from Domestic Violence Act was not being implemented
properly, women`s organisations today asked the Government to
fix a separate budget for the legislation and gender sensitise
the police force.

At a national consultation here, women`s organisations
said they were disappointed because of the lacklustre efforts
made by some state governments towards allocating adequate
resources for the effective implementation of this Act.

Participants emphasised on the need for adequate
budgetary allocations towards setting up of proper
infrastructure and discussed how best to create a uniform
pattern of fund allocations among the Centre and states and
the need to ensure the speedy disposal of cases.

"While there is an increasing awareness of the
legislation, there are several obstacles in the implementation
of the law.

"The successful functioning of the act includes well
trained protection officers, medical and shelter facilities
for aggrieved women, free and accessible legal aid, and well
trained police and service providers," said Dr Ranjana Kumari,
President, WomenPowerConnect and Director, Centre for Social
Research.

Women and Child Development Secretary D K Sikri
assured the organisations that the Centre would look into
their demands.

Some of the issues that were taken up during the
consultation included increasing the appointment of Protection
Officers and women`s access to them, making service providers
more effective and improving the budgetary allocations for
them.

In addition, the consultation also focused on defining
the role of police under the Act and the need for training
and capacity building of stake holders.

The stakeholders made a slew of recommendations which
included a separate budget for implementation of the Act with
special Central Assistance to the State Governments, setting
up of the office of the implementing officers and appointment
of full time independent officers at the district level.

There were also demands for fixing the minimum
qualifications of officers, immediate registration of service
providers in accordance with the Act, with adequate budgetary
allocation at the district and block level with a monitoring
mechanism for appointment and assessment of their work.

Gender sensitisation, laws pertaining to violence
against women should be included in the training curricula of
all Government officials and orientation of judicial officers
were some of the other recommendations.

The two-day consultation was jointly organised by
WomenPowerConnect (WPC), Centre for Social Research (CSR) and
OXFAM India in collaboration with UNIFEM, International Center
for Research on Women (ICRW) and Lawyers Collective Women`s
Rights Initiative among others.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 21:11

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