Maharashtra Establishing a Specialized Unit to Handle Calls to the Women’s Helpline

Maharashtra Establishing a Specialized Unit to Handle Calls to the Women's Helpline

The Maharashtra government is establishing a specialized unit for women’s helpline number 181, which was initiated in 2012 after the Delhi gang rape case but did not take off initially. This move aims to ensure prompt response to all distress calls from women. The state’s Woman and Child Development (WCD) department will analyze caller data to create a comprehensive database, improving responsiveness and support.

Furthermore, the WCD department has appointed 15 staff members undergoing training to handle distress calls. Additionally, a separate helpline for reporting child-related crimes will be integrated with a centralized bureau in Pune.

Dr. Anup Kumar Yadav, the secretary of the state WCD, stated that the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has engaged the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to implement the helpline and address its technical aspects. Representatives from C-DAC have developed the necessary computer system (software) for the helpline. This organization specializes in research and development in advanced computing technologies and applications.

“We aim to establish a centralized unit equipped with trained personnel to handle calls efficiently. Additionally, we plan to integrate distress calls with other emergency numbers in the near future. The unit is located in Pune,” he remarked.

Furthermore, the child helpline number, previously operated by Childline NGO, will be expanded within the same unit. “This marks the first instance of a dedicated unit for distress calls,” he emphasized.

In addition to offering quality care to women in distress, the WCD department intends to analyze these calls. “This analysis will be conducted by a specialized research and development team. By leveraging this data, we can identify areas requiring further intervention and investigation,” he elaborated.

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