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News : State Human Rights Panel Launches Plaint Helpline
Bengaluru, India, March 6, 2015 -- The Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) launched its first helpline for registration of complaints.
Started on a pilot basis, the helpline will be, for now, available only during office hours, according to Meera Saksena, acting chairperson of the Commission. Based on the people’s response, it would be extended further, she said.
The number had been in existence for the past two to three years, but it has been activated only now. At present, complaints are received via email and fax, apart from physical registration. The toll-free number will be an additional mode of receiving complaints and would be useful, especially in emergency situations, when a person cannot afford to visit the office to register a complaint. The moment a person calls the helpline, it will be automatically recorded. The complaint will be transcribed and registered officially.
The commission is faced with the challenge of finding people to operate the helpline round the clock. It will take the help of the police officials (attached to the commission) for attending the helpline. "We are looking for people capable of giving basic counselling to callers in need of immediate attention," Saksena said. "For instance, if someone calls with an intention of committing suicide, the person receiving the call should be capable of engaging the caller in a conversation and convincing the person not to take the extreme step," Saksena explained. For this purpose, the commission will also take the help of some NGOs.
Currently, the KSHRC operates from its lone office for the entire State in Bengaluru. The commission also plans to set up district help centres. It has been requesting for at least range-level presence till the district help centres are opened. However, the proposal has been pending since 2010, the members said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, March 9, 2015