Govt to conduct jail survey on plight of women inmates

RSTV Bureau
WCD minister Maneka Gandhi.

WCD minister Maneka Gandhi.

The Centre is conducting a survey on the condition of women inmates in 144 Central Jails in the country along with the National Commission for Women (NCW), Union minister Maneka Gandhi said on Friday. The House panel had earlier last month flagged issues concerning safety and health of women inmates.

As part of the exercise, carried out by members of the NCW as well as NGOs, questionnaires have been sent to different jails. After this, NCW teams will visit these prisons and give their recommendations to state governments.

“Over the last several years, there have been several disquieting reports about the way in which women are treated in prisons.

“Therefore, NCW has prepared a proforma and sent it to various director generals (prisons) and chief secretaries, and the deadline for them to respond is February 15,” the Union minister for women and child development (WCD) said at a press conference.

NCW acting chairperson Rekha Sharma said the panel’s recommendations to state governments will have to be placed before the respective legislative assemblies.

The WCD ministry has also asked the National Law University, Delhi, to prepare a prison manual for women inmates.

In its report titled “Women in Detention and Access to Justice”, tabled before Lok Sabha last month, the Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women highlighted issues such as overcrowding of prisons, growing number of under-trial prisoners, shortage of women officials and lack of health care facilities.

(With inputs from PTI)