While Women Helpline 181 has emerged as a one stop centre (OSC) for women in distress, the National Women Commission (NCW) has also launched a special Whatsapp alert helpline No 72177 35372 to protect women from domestic violence during the present lock down period.
During the crisis of Covid 19 and consequent lock down, the Centre and state governments were taking various steps to help people especially women and children. The Union Women and Child Welfare Minister Smriti Irani also urged the social activists to protect women and children in distress, while interacting with some institutions.
Now, during the lock down, there were reports that domestic violence against women were on the rise so that the NCW ordered the law enforcing agencies to take necessary action to check the crime. It also launched the Whatsapp No to attend the complaints of women immediately.
As per the NCW website, it received 5187 complaints, including 35 from TN, this financial year, and cases were registered under the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act. Talking to Field Outreach Bureau of PIB, ADGP M Ravi, who heads a special wing for crimes against women, says “police work round the clock to attend the complaints of women immediately’’.
In Coimbatore, the district administration, social welfare and police department work in tandem to help women. So, the district collector Rasamani says “the Helpline No 181 has emerged OSC for women.’’ It ensured that a woman need not approach multiple sources to get due assistance. Victims of violence are provided shelter along with legal, medical aid and counseling.
The social welfare department counsel them and kept the details secret. While Dr A Alagarsamy lauded the union ministry of women and child welfare and NCW for taking up the cases of women injustice proactively, lawyer Harish Kumar of Coimbatore opines “it is a great initiative to open a Whatsapp Helpline No against gender abuse and domestic violence.’’
The educational institutions and social activists should popularize both 181 and 72177 35372 to help women in distress utilize the facility effectively and get redressal of their grievances, he added.