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News : U’khand Yet to Set Up Dedicated Helpline for Women
Dehradun, India, June 14, 2016 -- Three years after the Central government announced a universal helpline number 181 for women in distress, the helpline is yet to get functional in Uttarakhand.
The state women and child welfare department has received Rs 42 lakh from the Centre since the beginning of the year and has even set up an office near Sudhowala. While counsellors have also been hired, the launch of the helpline is getting dealyed since the staff needs more training, according to an official from the department.
"When in a mock call the counsellors were asked about the legal recourse victims could take, they were not able to properly guide the women," said the official on condition of anonymity.
Arti Balodi, nodal officer of the scheme, said, "The department brass is in talks with police to provide special training to the counsellors so they can aid distressed women with correct legal information."
Currently, the police department offers a helpline number (1090) to women in Uttarakhand. Most calls received on the helpline are from victims of crime. Women activists believe a helpline that provides emotional, financial and psychological support to women would benefit their well-being more.
Advocate Renu D Singh from Samadhan, an NGO which aims to empower women legally, said, "Uttarakhand needs a helpline number for women in distress because there are incidents, especially in the hills, where a case against the perpetrator is not even registered because revenue police is posted there. The revenue police are easily influenced by politicians or local goons."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, June 16, 2016