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India

As NCW Registers 17,348 Complaints In 2022, Increasing One Stop Centres For Women Is Need Of The Hour

Out of all the states and union territories, Uttar Pradesh has the greatest number of OSCs with 75 whereas West Bengal which has a high number of crimes against women with 36,439 from 2020, has zero centres.

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New Delhi: The number of complaints filed with the National Commission for Women in 2022 have reached 17,348. The Right to live with dignity saw the most complaints with 5593, followed by 3792 complaints under the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence.

According to the data the complaints of police apathy against women were at 896. These numbers make it clear that solutions like the One Stop Centres (OSCs), launched in 2015 with an aim to support women facing physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse are required.

Yet while Delhi has 11 centres, West Bengal has none, and Uttar Pradesh with its highest number of crimes against women reported has 75. In total, out of 758 approved One Stop Centres, 708 are functional in 35 States and Union territories.

The Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani while responding to questions in Lok Sabha, informed that during the 15 Finance Commission cycle i.e., 2021-22 to 2025-26, the Government has decided to setup 300 more OSCs, in a phased manner, in the districts having larger geographical areas or high rate of crime against women.

The centres give assistance to women by providing access to services like emergency response and rescue, medical assistance,assistance to women in lodging complaints, psycho-social support or counselling, legal aid, shelter, amongst others. Take the case of the Capital city Delhi, where 11 OSCs are currently present. The National Crime Records Bureau data from 2020 shows that the national capital had a total of 10,093 cases of crimes against women.

OSCs provided help in these cases but focused on those related to dowry, and domestic abuse. Delhi registered 110 cases of dowry deaths under Sec. 304B IPC. In terms of Cruelty by husband or his relatives (Sec. 498A IPC) there were a total of 2,557 cases registered.

The NCW data for 2022 shows that from Delhi it received 265 complaints against harassment of married women for dowry and also six cases of dowry deaths. According to the National Commission for Women the total complaints received in Delhi till now in 2022 has reached 1,771, including 83 of police apathy.

One Stop Centres (OSCs) are intended to support women affected by violence, in private and public spaces, within the family, community and at the workplace. In Uttar Pradesh, where NCW has registered the highest number of complaints this year with 9,344, a total of 375 complaints were registered against police apathy.

Out of all the states and union territories, Uttar Pradesh has the greatest number of OSCs with 75. Government data also shows that from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2021 the centres in UP had assisted 1,57,620 women and further 9,688 women from April 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021. UP had a total of 2,274 dowry deaths reported according to the NCRB data from 2020.

But West Bengal has a high number of crimes against women with 36,439 from 2020, yet zero centres. The dowry deaths, under IPC section 304B were 522, cases under cruelty by husband or his relatives (Sec. 498 A IPC) saw 19,962 cases registered.

In the year 2022, West Bengal has seen a total of 356 complaints registered with the NCW. Last year, the BJP had urged the West Bengal minister for child and women welfare Shashi Panja to launch centres – the State has the approval to get 23 OSCs built.

Bihar, which reported 15,359 of crimes against women in 2020 has 38 centres. These cases include IPC 498 A which has 1,935 registered cases and 1,046 dowry deaths. In Tamil Nadu where there are 38 centres, the total crime against women reported from 2020 was 6,630. There were a total of 689 cases registered under section 498 A, and 40 dowry deaths.

Madhya Pradesh which is second in having the greatest number of centres at 52, after UP, the NCRB data shows that 25,640 were the total crimes committed against women in 2020, out of which IPC 498A were 5,540 and 608 dowry deaths.

In that same way, Rajasthan has many more cases of crimes against women reported in comparison to Madhya Pradesh, with 34,535 according to the NCRB has just 33 centres. The cruelty by husband or his relatives (IPC 498A) has seen 13,765 cases and 479 related to dowry death.

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