HYDERABAD: In the face of heinous crimes against women, girls, and even infants, being reported across Telangana in the last six months, the State government has been making make tall claims of how important is women’s safety while failing to spend money on the same. It has come to light that the department of women and child welfare has not received any budgetary allocation under the component of ‘Safety and Security of Women’ which has left the implementation of over 14 schemes virtually paralysed.
The department had sought a sum of Rs 18.8 crore in the budget towards Safety and Security of Women for the year 2019-20. However, in the vote on account budget that was passed in February, no money was sanctioned. This was revealed in a letter that accessed by Express, written by the director of department of women development and child welfare, to the principal secretary of the department on July 25, 2019, seeking revised sum of funds. “In view of the commitments, it is requested to the government to release the budget of Rs 18,81,91,000 to meet expenditures of various schemes under General Components of Safety and Security of Women,” notes the letter.
According to sources in the department, the delay of over five to six months has resulted in the crippling of almost all the schemes that ensure safety of women and children in the State, including Bharosa Centres, T-She Box, Child Friendly court, Prajwala centres for trafficking victims, Sakhi centres, She Taxi scheme, 181 helpline etc. Even the State’s flagship project, Bharosa centres and Child Friendly court, which received applause from even the Supreme Court of India for fast tracking POCSO cases, has been impacted. Sources from the centre revealed that salaries have been pending for the last three months for all staff providing help to the victims.
According to the letter, a sum of Rs 3 crore is due to the Bharosa centre. “There has come a stage where the counsellors are shelling out their personal money to feed the victims who come for trial. There is no money to even give them basic refreshments, forget the hefty rent of Rs 2.5 lakh for the HACA bhavan,” lamented an official from Bharosa centre. Furthermore, the district-level Sakhi centres are due Rs 7 crore, while training and workshop for welfare officers in new districts are due Rs 2 crore.