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Women crisis centres

New Delhi, July 28: The finance ministry today cleared a plan for “crisis centres” in all districts of the country to help victims of sexual assault, a proposal Maneka Gandhi had pushed for after the UPA conceived but failed to implement it.

A sum of Rs 500 crore has been allotted for three years to Maneka’s women and child development ministry to start the “One Stop Crisis Centres”, which have been named Nirbhaya Centres after the victim of the December 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder.

The centres will be opened in all 660 districts of the country. Each will have paramedical staff, ambulances and a retired police officer to help victims lodge complaints, besides counsellors and lawyers.

Officials in Maneka’s ministry said the first centre would be opened by December this year.

In the UPA-II government, the women and child development ministry had formulated the scheme last year for 100 districts at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore. But the plan failed to get off the ground.