News : DCW Helpline Received 2.2 lakh Distress Calls in a Year
New Delhi, India, Sept 21, 2016 -- As far as women safety is concerned, little has changed in the capital since the infamous December 2012 gang-rape. This concern is reflected in the Delhi Commission for Women's annual report released on Tuesday. The report cites delay in investigation by the police, inadequate facility for forensic testing and low conviction rate as the key reasons for an increase in crime against women.
Speaking at the report release function, DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said: "Today, no one is scared in Delhi...The law can be a deterrent only when the conviction rate is high." Data lend credence to Maliwal's assessment: between 2012 and 2015, Delhi cops registered as many as 31,446 FIRs; however, chargesheets were filed in just 13,050 cases, Worse, only 146 people were convicted during the period.
The report was released by women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi and minister of state (home) Kiren Rijiju. Maliwal, who took over as DCW chief in July 2015, stressed on the need for more courts for speedy trial in such cases. "It takes a lot of courage for women to report cases...Justice must be delivered without delay," she said.
DCW claims it has addressed 11,268 cases in the last one year against 3,498 in the previous year. The women helpline number, 181, received 2.2 lakh calls between February and July 2016. Counsellors empanelled with DCW dealt with 2,250 cases in a year, said Maliwal. The rape crisis cell of DCW received 1,146 cases between February and July this year. Of these, 554 related to minors.
Amid a spurt in acid-attack incidents, the report raises concern over unmonitored sale of the substance. DCW found that out of the 33 sub-divisions in Delhi, 20 didn't maintain any record of sale of acid in the areas under their jurisdiction. "Out of the ones that did, five took no action against the illegal sale of acid...Only 15 sub-divisions were active in levying penalty against irregular acid sales," the report stated.
Gandhi promised DCW all possible help in making the city safe for women. The Centre will soon open 11 one-stop centres for them. "Each centre will have a police officer, lawyer, doctor, nurse and other supporting staff." Such centres are already functional in Raipur and close to 200 women visited them daily, she said.
"Mobile phones will soon have a panic button. We are working on an application that would allow a woman to inform at least 10 people near her in case of an emergency." The government was also hopeful of passing the women trafficking Bill in the winter session of Parliament, she said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Delhi Commission for Women:
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) is a statutory body of the Government of Delhi with main aim to investigate and examine all matters relating to the safeguards provided for women under the constitution and other laws in Delhi.
Published: Monday, September 26, 2016