Compensation is a significant victim right that is taken cognizance by the system as well. Currently besides some changes in policies and practices to make them more responsive towards victim, the only ‘tangible’ right the system is providing to the victim is compensation. However its implementation level is negligible as compared to the number of victims needing it.
Currently there are basic three compensation schemes in Maharashtra for victims of crime, one of which was formulated due to DISHA’s advocacy. The three schemes are:
- ManodhairyaYojana– 2013, updated 2017
- Maharashtra Victim Compensation Scheme 2014
- Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Abuse / other offences – 2018
Which means there was no compensation scheme in Maharashtra for victims before 2013, and no compensation scheme irrespective of gender before 2014.
Sensing this dire need of activism and awareness right from the start for better implementation of the scheme DISHA is collecting data of number of applications received for the scheme and number of applications benefitted, on yearly basis.
DISHA is drawing inference from it to locate the regions needing more awareness for implementation of the scheme, and reaching out there.
There are several other challenges and bottlenecks in the implementation of the scheme, such as no uniformity in perquisite documents for application of the scheme at different DLSAs. Ambiguity in the mind of system about the criteria of need assessment of the victim to decide the compensation amount, Lack of awareness, some stereotype beliefs about the misuse of the compensation schemes etc.
We get in touch with these bottlenecks as we assist individual victims at the four districts, to apply for the compensation scheme. We try both – resolving the issues locally and creating movement and advocacy for these issues with the help of the Maharashtra State and District Legal Services Authorities in Maharashtra.