News : Women Helpline Defunct Despite Police Assurance
AURANGABAD, Dec 27, 2012 -- The universal women helpline number started across the state for women in distress, was found in a non-functional state. Moreover, the helpline has received just two complaints since the time it was launched in the city.
TOI had carried a report after receiving complaints from college students stating that the helpline number is defunct and has demanded that the helpline be made functional at the earliest.
After the Guwahati molestation incident in July this year, the plan to have a toll free helpline number accessible to women across Maharashtra was proposed in the legislative council and the helpline number was launched in August across the state for the women in distress.
When contacted deputy commissioner of police (headquarter) said, "The helpline is in working condition but we have received very few complaints since the time the helpline has been launched." Gharge also said that the helpline number can be used by women to share any information about any other women in distress, about eve teasing complaints, harassment by family members or colleagues and any other complaint in violation of rights of a woman.
"We have kept the women helpline number in the police control room, so that as soon as the complaint from a woman or a girl is received, it will be conveyed to the respective police station, and immediate action can be taken" Gharge added further. When asked about the number of complaints, he said that till date they have received just two complaints and also called from his office landline to prove that the number is working. But when the TOI team tried calling the helpline number using mobile phones as well as the landline phones, they got a recorded response that the number does not exist.
When contacted the police control room, the cop on duty replied that one has to dial the city code before dialing the helpline number. But even that suggestion did not work.
However, any person including women can also contact the toll free police control room number 100 and share information or lodge a complaint.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Saturday, December 29, 2012