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After one year of the Nirbhaya Incident of Dec 2012 has anything changed for women in India.

The infamous incident of gang rape of a 23 year old Nirbhaya on 16th December 2012 in a moving bus on the streets of Delhi shocked the entire nation. It was in the headline not only in national dailies but also in international newspapers. There were protest all over the country and few places outside India as well. The entire country applauded the death sentence inflicted on perpetrators of this crime.

In last one year, the question about safety of women has been discussed in Parliament, at various conferences and by many NGOs to ensure safety for women in work place and outside. This has resulted in the number of initiatives by the government for the security of women. Some are listed here:

1. NIRBHAYA FUND:

In the aftermath of the Nirbhaya rape case, the government sanctioned a sum of 1000 crore rupees for the development of infrastructure to ensure a safe environment for women. The various department of government that have submitted their proposals include:

1.Ministry of information technology:
a) It is mandatory for all the phone manufacturing companies to include SOS (signal of extreme distress) feature in phones.
b) Creating a robust network to provide real time protection to women in case of emergencies.
2.Ministry of Road and transport:
a) Installing GPS and video cameras in all public transport vehicles.
b) Developing more control rooms to regularly monitor the public vehicles.
c) Registering of complaints through IVRS (interactive voice response system).
d) Recruiting more women conductors and drivers.
3.Ministry of women and child development:
a) Mapping the vulnerable areas and deploying more security at these places.
b) Establishing more response centre.
2. SEXUAL HARRASMENT OF WOMEN (prevention, prohibition and redressal) act, 2013:
a) Every employer with 10 or more than 10 employs is mandated to form an internal complaint committee (ICC) to address any issue of sexual violence within the organization.
b) A district officer should set up a Local complaint committee (LCC).
c) ICC and LCC should submit their report about investigation within 90 days of filing of complaint.
d) Employer has to take a suitable action against accused based on the report of LCC and ICC.
3.NIRBHEEK
A small and light gun manufactured by ordinance factory, Kanpur to give more power to women to defend themselves.
4.FAST TRACK COURTS
The government has approved more fast track courts to provide swift justice to rape victims. HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?

The above mentioned initiatives will definitely bolster the security of the women but it is too early to raise questions about their efficiency as the development of infrastructure takes time.

However talking about present, we have certainly failed in our attempts to provide a healthy and safe environment for women.

A women was gang raped on the orders of panchayat in West Bengal, a foreigner was raped on Delhi-Jaipur highway, a sexual assault by Supreme Court judge made news headlines. These cases clearly tell that nothing has changed in reality.

According to Delhi police the numbers of rape cases in Delhi have doubled in 2013 compared to 2012. The cavalier attitude of police draws attention as there is no fear in the youth involved in such atrocious acts. The efficiency of fast track courts has been criticized by the intellectuals. In last one year the number of cases where judgment was announced by fast track courts(less than 400) are less than the normal courts (more than 500).

These issues are difficult but not impossible to tackle. A tough political regime can address these issues effectively. It does not matter what is takes but we cannot compromise with the security of women at any cost. The battle has begun with the sacrifice of courageous Nirbhaya and it is not going to end any time soon.

Rajat Luthra