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Future MPs being told to take a pledge to ensure sufficient budget for rape free India

By Our Representative
As part of the Rape Free India Campaign, the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation (KSCF), in alliance with the Shala Mitra Sangh, a civil society group of Gujarat, released a draft pledge for the would-be elected representatives of the Lok Sabha polls, asking them to swear for ushering in a rape-free India.
The pledge would seek to make future Members of Parliament to take up two major issues in the Lok Sabha: That they would ensure a budgeted action plan to make India rape free; and that 10% of resources in union budget should be allotted towards making the country safe for women and children.
Releasing the pledge, KSCF said in a statement it is a matter of "grave concern" that issues relating to safety of women and children are not being raised during the polls, even though, as per the National Crime Research Bureau data, one child is sexually abused every 15 minutes in our country, 106 rapes take place every day, and between 2015 and 2016, crime against children went up by a whopping 14%.
The statement regretted, "During the last five years, the nation has witnessed heinous cases like Muzzaffarpur, Unnao and Kathua that have shaken the consciousness of the nation. Despite this, women and children safety is not the core issue in these elections. On the contrary, election tickets have been given to rapists to fight elections."
Many of them are also expected to win. This situation needs to change. This nation can no longer allow rapists to be our policy makers. It is important that this election political parties do not ignore the pressing social issues like women and children safety. The issue needs to move from a social issue to a political issue.
Organising a public dialogue in Gujarat as part of its all-India campaign of handing over the draft pledge to candidates in 500 constituencies of the country, KSCF director Om Prakash lamented "absence of political will, accountability and social responsibility to combat rape" among would-be MPs.
“We had expected that during the elections, issue of women and children's safety should be at the forefront. Any person accused of rape should not be allowed to fight elections in this country”, said Mujahid Nafees of the Shala Mitra Sangh, adding, "Crimes against children in Gujarat have shown an increase of 174% during 2012-16."

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