Since the 1st of April, 2015, a centrally sponsored scheme formulated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) by the name One Stop Centre Scheme has been implemented. It is a sub-scheme under the Umbrella Scheme of National Mission for Empowerment of Women supported by the Indira Gandhi Mattritav Sahyog Yojana. It is also popularly known as Sakhi (which means “Friend” in English). Under this scheme, several Centres are being set up to offer collective assistance and support under a single roof to any women who have been affected by any sort of violence, be it in public or in private in a phased manner.
Objectives of the Scheme
Women have been subjected to violence both in public and in private spaces, within the community, the family and at the workplace also. The One Stop Centre Scheme aims at assisting women affected by the above-mentioned violence. The nature of this violence can be physical, emotional, sexual, economic abuse, psychological, irrespective of their class, education, age, caste marital status, culture and race. There are no categorical terms that divide the women who can seek support and redressal, all are welcome and included. Specialized services will be provided to women who have faced violence due to attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, acid attacks, honour-related attacks, trafficking or witch-hunting.
It aims are providing quick and immediate access to a range of services that include legal, medical, counselling support and psychological assistance under a single roof to fight against all forms of violence against women. It is ready to support all girls below the age of 18 years of age affected by violence irrespective of caste, religion, region, sexual orientation or marital status.
How to Access the One Stop Centre
The violence affected woman can access the OSC in the following steps
- Through the Women, Helpline integrated with police, emergency services and ambulance
- By herself
- Through the help of any well-spirited citizen, public servant, a relative, a friend, an NGO volunteer etc.
As the aggrieved woman approaches the OSC for help in any form, the details of the case are fed into a system as per the prescribed format and a Unique ID number is generated.
The One Stop Centre Scheme is funded through yet another fund called the Nirbhaya Fund. The central government here provides 100% financial assistance to the state governments/ territories administrations. The Nirbhaya Fund was established for the safety of women that pertains to strategic areas of protection, rehabilitation and prevention of violence against them. It is non-lapsable in nature and is only utilized for projects related to women safety.
The One Stop Scheme is a response to Gender Based Violence (GBV) which is a human rights, global health and development issue that transcends age, culture, geography, race, religion and affects every community in the country and beyond that. It was high time that a support system such as this was established dude to rise in violence against women in various forms. These activities rise due to inequities in social life more particularly in times of displacement and communal incidents.