Smriti Irani: 728 ‘One Stop Centres’ sanctioned, 595 operational for women victims of violence

New Delhi: The Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) has been discontinued as of 31 March 2017. The One Stop Centre (OSC) Scheme which replaced it provides a range of services including police facilitation, medical aid, psycho-social counselling, legal counselling and temporary shelter to women affected by violence in an integrated manner under one roof.

So far 728 OSCs have been sanctioned and 595 OSCs have started operations. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of operational Centres with 75, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Bihar with 51 and 38 Centres respectively.

Recognizing the need to prevent women from exploitation and to support their survival and rehabilitation, the scheme of Short Stay Home for women and girls was introduced as a social defence mechanism by the then Department of Social Welfare in 1969.

The scheme is meant to provide temporary accommodation, maintenance and rehabilitative services to women and girls rendered homeless due to family discord, crime, violence, mental stress, social ostracism or those being forced into prostitution and who are in moral danger.

Another scheme with similar objectives named ‘Swadhar’ was launched by the Department of Women and Child Development in 2001-02 for women in difficult circumstances.

The scheme through provisions of shelter, food, clothing, counselling, training, clinical and legal aid, aims to rehabilitate women in difficult circumstances.

The Centre for Market Research and Social Development, New Delhi, conducted an evaluation in 2007 to assess the performance of both schemes.

The evaluation report, while citing the effectiveness and positive impact of measures adopted under the schemes for counselling and rehabilitation, found that the profile and category of residents, admission procedure, counselling, quality of service, vocational training, rehabilitation and follow up procedure are almost similar in both schemes.

It therefore recommended the merger of these two schemes for better functioning and outcomes with lesser administrative burdens and procedures.

There were a total of 307 Short Stay Homes and 311 Swadhar Grehs functioning in the year 2013-14.

The Guidelines and SOP for the OSCs have been circulated to all States, Union Territories, and districts for effective implementation of the One Stop Centre (OSC) scheme.

Awareness generation programmes related to the OSC scheme are conducted by State Governments and UT Administrations from time to time.

This information was given by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

Earlier today, Smriti Irani provided another report that found domestic violence incidents against women increased by 33% in 2 years. The report detailed that Madhya Pradesh had the highest number of registered cases of domestic violence against women, reporting 241 incidents in 2017, followed by Kerala and Bihar with 177 cases and 81 cases respectively.

Earlier in the week, Irani attended the Facebook South Asia Safety Summit, where she said women’s help desks are being set up in each police station across the county to make police stations more accessible for women and children.

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The ID Staff

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