10 Questions The Government Needs To Answer on Women’s Safety

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Why no new measures for womens’ safety discussed after December 16 are in place yet – like better street lighting in cities, promptness at police stations and hospitals, proper patrolling of city streets at night

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Why no action was taken against the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women Mamta Sharma despite statements from her like the one reported in Tehelka, March 31, 2012
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Why the 1000 crore Nirbhaya fund announced in the union budget in March 2013 remains unspent, with no proposals sent in by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to date

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Why compensation promised by state governments to rape victims most often doesn’t reach them

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Why sensitisation programmes and training for the police across the country in handling rape cases hasn’t been prioritised urgently

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Why free and immediate legal aid to rape victims required in most cases has not materialised

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Why the government still looks to womens’ groups for training in gender sensitisation, as if rape is a womens’ only issue

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Why our rape laws have not been amended to include marital rape that statistically is shown to account for over 90% of rapes in India and why our Parliamentarians refused to add this amendment when the Verma commission had strongly suggested it

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Why the countless rapes of girls in slums and rural areas don’t shock the nation

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Why safer means of transport for women are not provided by the state and why companies that employ women don’t provide for safe transport for them after dark

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Special Correspondent

Revati Laul has been a television journalist and documentary film maker for most of her 16 year career. Ten of those were spent in NDTV where her reports included everything from the aftermath of the Gujarat riots to following truck drivers into ULFA infested Assam. Then about a year and a half ago, she decided to tell her stories in indelible ink instead. Most people said she made an upside down decision but she firmly believes she’s found food for the soul. She was hired by Tehelka to write on politics. For her this does not mean tracking the big fish but looking closely at how the tiny fish are getting swallowed and by whom. On most days though, she can be found conversing on her other two favourite subjects – fornication and food. Fiction is another friend of hers. A short story she wrote called `Drool’ was published in an anthology of young fiction by Zubaan. She is also founder member of the NGO ‘Tara’ that looks after underpriviledged children.

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