Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today launched a helpline number 181 for women in distress in Odisha on the occasion of International Women's Day.
Mr Patnaik launched the toll free helpline which will be available 24 hours in all the 30 districts of the state.
The helpline will extend prompt response to women affected by violence, provide information about women-related government schemes and programmes and a range of other services.
Lauding the state government's efforts to empower women in the state, Mr Patnaik said 50 lakh women have been able to raise their socio-economic condition by becoming part of the women self help groups.
More than 25 lakh women have also been benefited by about Rs 1100 crore by availing incentive through Mamata Yojana, a pregnancy related welfare scheme of the state government.
Mr Patnaik also praised the contribution of women towards state's achievement in reducing the IMR and MMR. He said the role of thousands of Anganwadi workers in saving lives of women and children needs to be highlighted.
The chief minister, while addressing the state level function on the International Women s Day, said women of the state have brought laurels in different fields like sports, entertainment, art and culture and others. He said the women of Odisha have now got back their confidence to march ahead to do something good for the society.
Mr Patnaik, however, said that women should be aware of different schemes and programmes for them. He felicitated four anganwadi workers, four districts for spectacular work in integrated child development scheme and three organisations for their contribution towards protection of children.
Odisha's Biju Kanya Ratna and Mission Shakti have been instrumental for welfare of women and girls in the state, said WCD minister Usha Devi.