MANGALURU: Since 2015, the year when ‘Sthairya Nidhi’ was introduced, 41 rape victims in Dakshina Kannada district has received a total compensation of Rs 9.85 lakh (as on March 2018).Sthairya Nidhi was launched by the government with an objective of instilling hope and helping rape victims put the trauma behind in order to lead a new life.
However, only 10% of the rape victims have judiciously utilised the compensation amount of Rs 25,000 to stand on her own feet, say counsellors at ‘Gelathi’ (special care unit for women in Lady Goschen hospital, 195), Santwana women helplines (1091), Prajna Swadhara counselling centre and women police station.
Sources in women police station in Pandeshwar told The New Indian Express that one victim spent the compensation to purchase a cell phone and nail polish. Women counsellors who counsel these victims of sexual assault say many victims are ill-informed and end up spending the money “unwisely”.
A 21-year-old woman spent the money recklessly assuming that she would receive compensation every month from government, they said.
Another rape victim had contacted Gelathi to inform it that she had not received the compensation.“On checking our records, it was found that the woman was ineligible as victims of rape registered after July 2015 are eligible for Sthairya Nidhi,’’ says Harshita, serving as counsellor for past two years at Gelathi.
Selective beneficiaries for Sthairya Nidhi
In its first year of introducing Sthairya Nidhi, 20 rape victims received a total compensation of Rs 4.60 lakh. In 2016-17, five victims received Rs1.25 lakh and in 2017-18, 16 victims received a total compensation of Rs 4 lakh. The statistics do raise doubts on whether beneficiaries under Sthairya Nidhi scheme are identified according to funds allocated by government. For instance, Mangaluru Police had registered 15 rape cases. Yet in that year, women and child welfare department had released Sthairya Nidhi to five victims only.