Delhi Police special women's helpline - 2,000 calls in 45 days

Delhi Police special women's helpline - 2,000 calls in 45 days

The helpline was set up after the gangrape of a medical student in Delhi on December 16 last year.

New Delhi: "Sir, some men are following me", "My husband thrashed me again, please save me" - these are some of the 2,000 calls that Delhi Police Special Commissioner Sudhir Yadav has dealt with since a special helpline was activated in the wake of the Dec 16, 2012, gangrape of a 23-year-old physiotherapist.

Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna appointed Yadav the nodal officer to deal with women-related complaints in the capital and his mobile number - 9818099012 - was activated Dec 25, 2012.

Being the first ever helpline under the direct monitoring of a senior police officer, it means quick results.

"The need for a senior officer monitoring complaints arose because though we already have two helplines - 1091 and 1096 - that together received close to 25,000 complaints last year, we found that the redressal mechanism was not adequate," a police officer told IANS, speaking on condition of anonymity.

This apart, a 181 helpline started by the Delhi government Dec 31, 2012, has received 40,000 calls since then, but most of them were trial calls to check whether the number was functional, an offical said.

"The frequency of the calls was very high in the first two weeks of January, but it has decreased now," Kulanand Joshi, additional Secretary to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and in-charge of the helpline, told IANS.

As for Yadav, his phone has not stopped ringing since it was activated.

While Yadav himself takes some of the calls, he has a designated team that monitors all calls.

All calls are also recorded so that if the joint commissioner of police (Traffic) needs to be brought into the loop, this can be immediately done. The need for this was felt because the Dec 16 gangrape took place in a moving bus. This apart, there have been instances of women being abducted or raped in cars.

Of the 2,000 calls received in the last 45 days, most related to being stalked, getting obscene calls or facing domestic violence - a sad reality proving that the city still has not learnt any lessons.

"I got at least 300 calls daily last month. Each call was attended properly and immediate necessary action was also taken," Yadav told IANS.

"We maintain a record of each and every call and ensure proper follow up," he added.

In addition, Yadav interacts with several women's NGOs on the last Friday of every month to take stock of the situation at the ground level.

"I have interacted with around 30 NGOs so far and the sessions were very informative. we got to know about our performance and whether our policies were working or not," said Yadav.

"We have discussed several steps to ensure more security for women. I have asked the NGOs to provide self-defence training to young girls like we did last year," he added.

Delhi Police had organized a self-defence training camp in Oct, 2012, in west Delhi's Nanakpura area which was attended by around 100 young working women from the lower income groups.

The women were taught judo, karate, kendo, sumo, aikido, shorinji, kempo and naginata by a visiting Japanese martial arts delegation.

"We were pleased with the results of the workshop and so were the participants. More of such camps would surely be organized soon," Yadav said.

Yadav further said that he has also requested the NGOs to provide women volunteers who can help in managing women helplines in police stations across the city.