To prevent abuse against women and children, the Kerala Home department launched ‘Nirbhaya Kerala - Surakshitha Kerala programme’ on a pilot basis in the city on 1st August 2014. For implementing the project, 120 women volunteers were recruited from 74 divisions in the Kochi Corporation.
Nirbhaya Project mainly focuses on a three-point agenda:
In prevention, major areas of intervention lie in sensitizing the society, empowering vulnerable groups, targeting contributing factors such as alcoholism, gender discrimination and consumerism.
Prosecution is another area of intervention where strong laws have to be formulated to ensure rigorous punishment to the culprits which will be a deterrent for such criminals. The policy focuses on child abuse, commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking, which constitute the worst forms of sexual violence in the state. The scheme is being jointly implemented by the departments of Social Welfare, SC/ST, Police, Health, Labour, and Local Self Government in coordination with NGOs.
As part of the Protection, five rehabilitation centres have been set up at various places of the state which provide facilities for education and employment to the victims.
Nirbhaya autorickshaws and taxis
The 24 / 7 women-friendly Autorickshaws / Taxis aim at helping women who travel, particularly during late hours after work. Under this scheme a selected number of Autorikshaws / Taxis will be identified through a rigorous selection and verification process and they will be designated as Nirbhaya Autos / Taxis in all the Stands. To identify women-friendly autorickshaws, the facility will have large stickers which will be displayed as the logo of the service, with the name Nirbhaya Auto / Taxi, as displayed above.