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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Maharashtra Scheme To Compensate Rape Survivors Has Delivered A Lot Less Than Promised

The BJP-led Mah­a­rashtra government launched Manodhairya Yojana with much fanfare and made it its showcase initiative, offering a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to rape and acid-attack survivors, to be given in instalments.

Maharashtra Scheme To Compensate Rape Survivors Has Delivered A Lot Less Than Promised
Illustration by Sajith Kumar
Maharashtra Scheme To Compensate Rape Survivors Has Delivered A Lot Less Than Promised
outlookindia.com
2018-07-21T10:41:03+05:30

A couple stretched out for the night on a soiled bedspread on a footpath, hardly attracting a second glance in this city of strangers. The children—dau­ghters aged six, four and two—were tucked in between the parents. The father, 28, couldn’t keep his eyes shut. He would pull himself up at the slightest sound of a footstep and check on his eldest child, who was lured by a neighbour to his shack in a Mumbai slum and raped nearly two years ago. They had to ret­urn to the city this January to appear before the court that is hearing the case. This was their first night since arriving in a stifling general coach of a train from Calcutta.

The family’s last tryst with Mumbai was horrifying. In January 2016, the fat­her had joined a small unit that did zari embroidery on saris, but had to leave the city just two months later when his eldest child was sexually ass­aulted. Seeking justice for his daughter and the compensation promised under the Maharashtra government’s financial assistance scheme for the rehabilitation of rape and acid-attack survivors, he feels bogged down by the legal and adm­inistrative intricacies. “This is why people say one should never get involved in court cases even if one is a victim,” he laments. Without a regular job, he needs the money, but the state government’s heart and wallet don’t appear to be in the same place when it comes to disbursing compensation under the Manodhairya Yojana, a court-mandated scheme launched after the gang-rape of a photojournalist at Mumbai’s Shakti Mills in August 2013.

Audrey D’Mello, helping the family with legal assistance, is aghast at the way the authorities treated them. “They stayed for at least two weeks in the streets or the shanties in the eastern suburbs (at Cheeta Camp’s Dhobi Ghat area in...

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