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Odisha Gets 30 Centers

New Delhi: While the Government of India implements the One Stop Centre (OSC) Scheme with effect from 1st April, 2015, Odisha has got 30 Centers.

OSCs provide a range of integrated services under one roof including police facilitation, medical aid, legal aid and counselling, psycho-social counselling and temporary shelter to women affected by violence or in distress. As on date, 733 OSCs have been approved for 729 districts across the country, out of which 704 OSCs have been operationalized in 35 States/ UTs, which have assisted over 4.93 lakh women.

The setting up of OSCs from the year 2015 onward, at district level, have provided a dedicated platform to women facing violence and who are in distress to get necessary help and assistance, which was not available earlier.

State / District Authorities are responsible for recruitment and appointment of suitable manpower / staff at these centres for effective implementation of the scheme. As per information received from 24 States/ UTs, 520 counsellors have been appointed.

The Ministry also reviews implementation of the scheme and functioning of these centres from time to time through meetings, Video Conferencing and by issuing advisories to States Governments/ UT Administrations.

The Central Government gives high priority to ensuring safety and security of women and has undertaken various steps for helping the victims of sexual and gender-based violence and supports and supplements the efforts of States / UTs in ensuring the safety and security of women and girls including the cases of sexual and gender-based violence.

The schemes/ projects include One Stop Centres (OSCs); Universalisation of Women Helplines (WHL), Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) which is a pan-India single number (112)/ mobile app based system for emergencies; a cyber-crime reporting portal to report obscene content; safe city projects in 8 cities (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai) including infrastructure, technology adoption and capacity building in community through awareness programmes, training and skill development programs for Investigation Officers, Prosecution Officers and Medical Officers; distribution of Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) Kits to States/ UTs; establishment of state of the art DNA Laboratory at CFSL, Chandigarh; assistance to 24 States/ UTs to strengthen Forensic Science Laboratories; setting up of 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) for speedy disposal of cases of rape and cases under POCSO Act; setting up/ strengthening of Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) in all districts of the country; setting up/ strengthening of Women Help Desks (WHDs) at Police Stations etc.

Under Nirbhaya Fund, Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) has also undertaken several initiatives, which, inter-alia includes training and skill development programs for Investigation Officers, Prosecution Officers and Medical Officers, distribution of Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) Kits to States/ UTs. BPR&D has also prepared Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for ‘Women Help Desk at Police Stations’ to ensure smooth functioning of Women Help Desks by focusing on four critical components viz. infrastructure, training, human resource development and response mechanism.

A book titled ‘Women’s Safety and Security- a Handbook for First Responders and Investigators in the Police’ has also been prepared for the purpose of prevention and investigation of crime against women with specific reference to the crime of sexual assault, which includes investigation, victim compensation and rehabilitation. Emphasis has been laid upon appropriate behavioural and attitudinal skills of the police in course of prevention and detection of crime against women and children and interaction with victims of crime. Webinars on women safety with sensitivity, gender sensitization of police personnel etc. have also been organized by BPR&D.

Ministry of Women and Child Development has engaged the services of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) for providing basic and advanced training under the project named ‘Stree Manoraksha’ to the staff of One Stop Centres (OSCs) across the country on handling psycho-social and mental health care needs to support the women facing violence and women in distress.