Vrindavan, Aug 31 (IANS) In a bid to prevent Muzaffarpur-like incidents, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has urged the states to establish a central facility for women and children together in their capitals.
The Women and Child Development Minister was speaking here in Uttar Pradesh on Friday at the inaugural function of “Krishna Kutir”, the largest-ever facility of its kind created under the Swadhar Greh scheme of the ministry.
“We do not want incidents like Muzaffarpur to reoccur and for that I urge Adityanathji (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) to kindly allocate land in Lucknow to build a central facility for women and children together,” she said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was also present on the occasion to inaugurate the special home for 1,000 widows.
Gandhi said that she has written to all Chief Ministers urging them to build central facilities for women and children together in their states so that they can be saved from abuse.
“There are a lot of small centres throughout the state (Uttar Pradesh) and it was impossible to monitor all of them,” she said adding that her ministry was “ready to develop such a facility” in the state only if the state government allots sufficient land.
Responding to her request, Adityanath assured that his government will provide land in Kashi and Lucknow and will ensure that budget constraints do not become an obstacle.
The horrific case of alleged rape of minor girls housed at a state-run shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district came to light when the state’s Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
Adityanath also said that his government was planning to remove all the age restrictions on giving pensions to widows.
“Currently, women above 60 years of age are given pension by the government but we are planning to provide pensions to all the widows irrespective of their age,” he said.
Noting that the “Krishna Kutir” was situated on the outskirts of Vrindavan, Gandhi asked the senior district officials to start the service of e-rickshaw in the area so that the women could easily access the other parts of the city.
She added that the WCD Ministry is planning to create a garden beside the “Kutir” so that women could grow fruits and vegetables in it.
Equipped with a large modern kitchen and a skill-cum-training centre, the home to widows has been funded by the central government and will be managed by the Uttar Pradesh government.