Help is just a call away

Useful Channel , Helpline BESCOM 22873333

Help is just a call away

The issue of safety of women has been in the spotlight for a while now and many organisations have taken initiatives to help the cause. Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) started its own initiative at the beginning of this year — apart from their regular customer service calls, they also accept calls from women in distress and divert these calls to the authorities concerned.

Metrolife spoke to the authorities and Bangaloreans about the role of this channel.
Jayanti N, the general manager of customer relations at BESCOM, says, “When we first launched this service, we used to get more calls than we do now.

Nonetheless, we have had 35 cases from the month of January till early June, which is an average of six calls per month.” She informs that the regular customer service representatives attend the calls, collect the details of the issue and then pass on this information, along with the person’s contact number, to the police.

“The crimes against women are increasing day by day in the City and the country. This is just an effort to help channel the calls to the right place. The various calls we received varied from pension issues to negligence and harassment by spouse, trouble from neighbours and so on,” she adds.

Bhavyashree P, a customer support expert with BESCOM who has attended such a call, says, “Attending a call from a distressed person and analysing the situation to take a correct decision is a hard task. One needs to be very calm and talk without offending them. It’s a task which needs a lot of patience.”

She details that in the case she dealt with, the caller’s husband had married another women and was not providing monetary support to her anymore. “I took the details of the caller, her address, and forwarded the calls to 1091,” she says. Bhavyashree adds that empathy and a balanced approach are the traits required to handle such situations.

Having called the number to report some miscreants who were bothering a vendor near her locality in Jayanagar, Geetha S Rao is all praises for this channel of help.
 “I know this vendor who sits at the Yediyur junction.

She had her daughter with her that particular day and some men were being very rude, passing comments and making actions. She asked me to help her out and I called the Jayanagar Police station, but the call didn’t go through. I immediately recalled this number and called it to give the details.

A while later, I got a call from the police saying that action had been taken against the miscreants,” narrates Geetha. Geetha also says that such channels should be encouraged and more organisations should take up such initiatives.

Rani Shetty, the coordinator of Vanita Sahayavani, whose team handles the calls that are forwarded from this service, says, “Although the team there may not be able to handle the calls directly, they do a good job of forwarding the cases to us. At the end of the day, women should get the help they need and that is all that matters.”

But not everyone in the City is convinced about this service. “How many of us have the BESCOM helpline number saved on our phones or in our telephone books? The service is undoubtedly a good effort, but more awareness should be spread about it. Pamphlets, posters and hoardings should be used to do this,” says Radhika P A, an IT professional.

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