Women helpline to be revamped

The Delhi government is planning to make changes at the 181 Women Helpline to counter the problem of blank calls and integrate it with a new central government scheme as the current service is “not meeting its objective”.

Aswani Kumar, Secretary, Social Welfare, Women and Child Development, said: “Almost  70 per cent of the calls to the helpline are blank ones or frivolous calls. There is more to be done. It is not meeting its objective. Something, somewhere is wrong we need to think it through.”

He said over the next 10 days, his team would debate on the areas that need attention to meet the gaps in service and probably integrate the 181 service with the national programme.

Staff members of an NGO which runs the helpline for the government claimed the preoccupation of the helpline with blank calls and frivolous calls is preventing thousands of needy women from connecting with the 181 number.

“An app-based service for women security may also be linked to the 181 which is a very prized and successful experiment which has proved successful,” he said.

Talking about the violence at juvenile homes and the recent attempt by some delinquents to escape from an observation home in north Delhi, he said: “The general tendency among the minors was to resist confinement to which they have been sent by Juvenile Justice Board.”

The situation of protests, violence and groupism among inmates at juvenile homes is on the wane ever since we have engaged mental health professionals for counselling and started giving them vocational training like mobile phone repair.

“We try to keep the juveniles busy in creative activities and skill development,” he said. 

Two of the delinquents recently got jobs in companies as part of a corporate social responsibility initiative with the Indian Oil Corporation, he said.

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