`1,000-cr fund, bank for women
With an eye on public sentiment and in tribute to the 23-year-old Delhi gangrape victim, finance minister P. Chidambaram announced the setting up of a `1,000-crore “Nirbhaya Fund” to ensure the safety and empowerment of women. He also said an all-woman bank will be set up, to start functioning from October.
“Nirbhaya” (fearless) was a pseudonym given the victim brutally gangraped in a Delhi bus on December 16. She later succumbed to her injuries in Singapore. This led to massive outrage across India, with tremors felt in Delhi’s corridors of power.
“I propose to set up a fund. Let us call it the Nirbhaya Fund. The government will contribute `1,000 crores,” the FM said. Details will be worked out by the ministry of women and child development on the structure, scope and application of the fund.
Mr Chidambaram said a special public sector bank will be set up solely for women, to fund businesses run by women and which would have only women employees. It would have an initial capital of `1,000 crores. As he spoke, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were seen thumping their desks in approval.