News : Delhi Commission for Women to Get Charge of 181 Helpline
New Delhi, India, Oct 2, 2015 -- The AAP government is planning to hand over the charge of its 181 helpline for women in distress to the Delhi Commission for Women. The helpline, set up after the outrage over the Nirbhaya case in 2012, has been witnessing a sharp decline in the number of calls ever since the AAP formed the government in the national capital in February this year.
The data accessed by this newspaper shows that the helpline had received 34,113 calls from September 1 till September 28. The number of calls received by the helpline in September last year was as high as 59,502.
Of the calls received by the helpline in September, about 80 per cent were attended to by 181. Of the tolal calls received by the helpline, only 2,589 were related to women in distress. The number of obscene calls too has gone down. Though the average number of obscene calls received every month by 181 was about 15,000, the helpline received just 2,373 calls in September. Also, there were as many as 8,081 people who had called up to seek advise on different issues.
What’s quite surprising is the fact that the number of calls received from men in distress had reportedly increased tenfold. The helpline had received as many as 94 calls from men in distress. Generally, the helpine used to receive about 10 calls from men in distress every month.
Statistics show that the number of calls received every month by the helpline had gone down between 10,000 to 20,000 in comparison to the previous year. For instance, the helpline which had received 51,506 calls in January last year, received only 41,529 calls in the corresponding period this year. The number of calls received by the helpline in July last year had gone down by about 15,000 in the corresponding period this year. While the helpline registered a decrease of about 20,000 calls in August this year, the number went down by 25,000 in September in comparison to the corresponding period of 2014.
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The drastic decline in the number of calls received by the helpline is being attributed by some officials to a hostile approach being adopted by the administration towards 181 executors, who had been appointed during erstwhile chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s tenure. A senior official said that another reason for the decline in the calls was the fact that the administration had not been promoting it in any of its platforms. "For instance, the advertisements issued by the government had not mentioned ever about 181. Rather, the advertisements had been mentioning about the helpline being run by the Delhi police."
Another officer said that during Ms Dikshit’s tenure the helpline was accorded top priority and used to function directly under the CMO. Later, the helpline was brought under the ambit of the women and child development department.
"Even the salaries of the helpline staff, which has been functioning on a contract basis, are not released on time every month."
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, October 5, 2015
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