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News : GRP Helpline Gets 12K Texts, Many Discuss Family Matters
Mumbai, India, March 20, 2015 -- A Whatsapp-based security helpline started by the GRP for women commuters has logged over 12,400 messages since its inception less than two weeks ago.
However, not many of the messages received by the cops pertained to railway security. GRP officials have been left flummoxed with women callers seeking help regarding domestic violence cases, relationship trouble and even reporting suicidal tendencies.
Senior GRP officials have expressed the need to have a proper mechanism in place for counselling women in distress. "Nearly 70 million people in India subscribe to WhatsApp. Our objective is to use technology to reduce the gap between the police and the public. We have a team of eight to 10 personnel to monitor messages received on our Nirbhaya helpline 9833312222," said GRP commissioner Ravinder Singal. Though the helpline covers only Mumbai for now, messages have been pouring in from Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Delhi, Hyderabad and Madhya Pradesh. "We want other police forces to replicate our model and extend the helpline across the nation," he added.
Among the female commuters that the GRP could extend help to was 22-year-old Sumana Nandi, whose family had lost touch with her after she boarded the Duranto Express from CST last Friday. Nandi was travelling alone in the night and her family panicked when her mobile number could not be reached. The GRP directed their counterparts to personally check if she had reached her destination safely. "The commonest complaints received on the helpline are about men boarding ladies compartments in local trains," said an official.
Then there were messages that perplexed the cops. "A girl complained of her ex-boyfriend texting her incessantly and blackmailing her. Another said a boy had threatened to fling acid on her face if she did not respond to his advances. A newly married woman from Pune complained of harassment from her in-laws. A young girl messaged that she was contemplating committing suicide as her sloshed father used to fight with her mother every day," the official said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, March 24, 2015