Delhi govt systematically dismantling DCW, alleges Maliwal; AAP hits back

She claimed that during her tenure the DCW was able to successfully handle more than 1.7 lakh complaints from women and children.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 06:29 IST

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New Delhi: Former DCW chief Swati Maliwal has written to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, accusing his government of "systematically dismantling" the women's panel since her resignation.

Hitting back, AAP said it is "extremely regrettable" that she "remains a puppet of the BJP".

"In the past, she has gone to great lengths to malign and defame the chief minister... because of her wrongdoings, Bibhav Kumar continues to suffer the brunt," the party said.

Her letter came a day after Delhi Women and Child Development Minister Kailash Gahlot said the women helpline 181 will now be run by his department and the number will remain inoperative for a few days for transition.

He said the central government plans to make it mandatory for the women's helpline to be run by the Department of Women and Child Development, rather than the DCW.

Maliwal had resigned as the chairperson of the Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) following her nomination to the Rajya Sabha by the Aam Aadmi Party.

In her letter to the chief minister, who is in jail in connection with the Delhi excise policy case, Maliwal alleged that the DCW staff has not been paid salary for the last six months, the panel's budget has been reduced by 28.5 per cent, the 181 helpline has been withdrawn, and no efforts have been made to fill the vacant posts of chairman and two members.

"I am writing this letter to bring attention to how the Delhi government has been systematically dismantling the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) since my resignation from the position of chairperson in January 2024. It is deeply regrettable that the systems that I had painstakingly built since 2015, are being destroyed by the government," Maliwal said in the letter.

Maliwal said that during her tenure of more than eight years, the commission handled more than 1.7 Lakh complaints from women and children. Additionally, the 181 Women Helpline operated by the commission received more than 41 Lakh calls since 2016, she claimed.

"As the chief minister of a city infamous as the rape capital of the world, it is critical to safeguard systems that protect women and girls," she said.

She said the Delhi government's Women and Child Development Department issued an order to reclaim operational responsibility for the 181 Women Helpline from the DCW.

"The commission has been informed that the order was issued after the approval of the concerned minister and is supposedly in compliance with a central government directive which states that 181 Women Helpline should be run by the WCD departments in states. Firstly, the DCW works under the aegis of the WCD Department. Hence, there was no need to take over the helpline from the commission," she said.

She alleged no consultation was held with the commission to evaluate the repercussions of this decision.

Maliwal also alleged that since her resignation, the commission has encountered a halt in funds, disrupting its operations.

This financial year, the commission's budget was unexpectedly reduced by Rs 10 crore, amounting to a 28.5 per cent cut, without prior consultation or warning, she alleged.

"The sudden and substantial budget reduction inflicted upon the commission shall adversely impacts its operations, leading to the closure of crucial programmes," she added.

In a statement, AAP said attention should be drawn to Maliwal's press conference outside the DCW office on May 2, where she unequivocally exposed the LG's order dated April 29, which arbitrarily removed 223 DCW staff, including acid attack victims and survivors, highlighting a "grave injustice" by the LG.

Published 02 July 2024, 06:29 IST

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