Women helpline head stages peaceful protest

The 181 women helpline head Khadijah Faruqui staged a peaceful protest outside Central Secretariat on Tuesday highlighting the plight of the team and clearing the air about the underperformance of the facility.

“There has been an acute shortage of staff in comparison to the number of calls 181 helpline receives,” she said.

Supporters of the 181 helpline said its shocking to see reports that helpline staff has ben harassed because of the “non-professional behaviour of some officials of the department of women and child development”.

They submitted a memorandum for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Central Secretariat. “We, survivors of violence who got life saving support and companionship from 181 helpline, are highly distressed to see reports that team 181 is feeling harassed and distressed because of non-professional behavior of officials of the department of women and child development,” it said.

“We also heard that DCW chief and ministerial authorities saying 181 helpline is not properly working. We stand here at your gate to meet you and give our testimony how helpful this helpline has been in supporting us during the bad face of our lives,” it added.

“We request you to save this helpline from decaying.”
The 181 women helpline head had written an open letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday saying she has been ‘discriminated against’ by the department since the allegations surfaced that she harassed a caller which made her attempt suicide.

Ahead of the Delhi Women Commission taking over the 181 women helpline, the city Congress unit said workers of an NGO operating the service since 2013 were leaving due to non-payment of salaries.

Faruqui, consultant of 181 helpline, had said she started facing issues after she brought financial irregularities to the notice of director department of women and child development.

“Since then – an environment of hostility has been prevailing in the office. After the incidence, many of my team members are neither listening to my instructions nor of my supervisors nor they follow the schedule prepared by me.”

She also said their salaries for June 2015 were deducted.

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