Even after 3 years, money allocated to 'Nirbhaya Fund' remains unspent

The fund was meant to support Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) working for the safety of women but the government failed to figure out at least one organisation which could spend the fund.

The Government of India has allocated Rs 1000 towards the Nirbhaya in every budget fund since 2013. But like every year, the fund remained unspent along with the one which was allocated in 2015-16. This fund was launched with an objective to support women and ensure their safety and security.

The move to create a Nirbhaya fund was taken in remembrance of Nirbhaya, a paramedic from Delhi who was brutally assaulted in a moving bus on January 16. 2012, in Delhi. A few days after the incident, she couldn’t sustain the injuries and she died.

In 2014, the government changed and NDA came in power. Though the new power holders continued UPA’s tradition of allocating Rs 1000 crore to the fund but they could not come up with a scheme to spend the fund. The fund was meant to support Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) working for the safety of women, but in last 3 last three years, the present government couldn’t figure out a single NGO which could utilise the money.

The approved Union Finance Account 2015-16 says that the Modi government came up with two plans; first, a Rs 653 crore scheme under the ministry of road transport and highways for the “safety of women on public road transport”. Second, the ‘Nirbhaya Project’ worth Rs 79.6 crore under the home ministry.

But none of the projects accomplished and hence, the entire allocated sum of money remains unspent and was 100% saved.

Apart from the Nirbhaya fund, there are many Central projects initiated in 2015-16 which didn’t come in action and the money was saved. The projects which couldn’t take off includes Project for employment and rehabilitation of manual scavengers worth Rs 461 crore, a special program planned to develop roads to connect Naxal-affected areas with the Urban area worth Rs 920 crore. All these programs remained on the notebooks and resulted in complete savings at year end from the respective ministries as they failed to implement it.