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Women helpline 181 to be run by Delhi govt now, not DCW: Kailash Gahlot

The central government plans to make it mandatory for the women helpline to be run by the Department of Women and Child Development rather than the Delhi Commission for Women.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 18:43 IST

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New Delhi: Delhi Women and Child Development minister Kailash Gahlot on Monday said women helpline 181 will now be run by his department rather than the DCW, and the number will be closed for a few days for transition.

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

The post of the DCW chief has been lying vacant since Swati Maliwal was nominated to Rajya Sabha by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Last year, Maliwal had said the DCW's 181 helpline received more than 6.3 lakh calls between July 2022 and June 2023.

Gahlot said the transition from the DCW to the Department of Women and Child Development is expected to be completed within two days. It includes comprehensive arrangements to ensure seamless service. In the interim, calls for assistance can be made to 112, with measures in place to inform the public about the change, he said.

The current service provider has been requested to run a statement during this buffer period on their IVR, stating, "Women Helpline-181 is currently in a transition phase, please call 112 for any assistance." "Women Helpline No. 181 was operational till yesterday 30.06.2024 and was being run by Delhi Commission for Women (DCW). But now the Government of India plans to make it mandatory for the helpline to be run by the Women and Child Development Department. Keeping this in mind, all preparations have been completed by the department," Gahlot said in a post in Hindi on X.

Line transfer will take a day or two in the transition phase, the minister added.

"I am hopeful that women helpline number 181 will be operational again in a few days. At present, calls can be made on helpline number 112. All women-related calls received on helpline number 112 will be forwarded to the department," Gahlot said.

In a statement issued by the government, Gahlot was quoted as saying, "We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of women in Delhi. We aim to provide a more integrated and efficient response to the needs of women in distress. Our department has made all necessary arrangements to handle calls effectively and provide timely assistance. I am confident that the Women Helpline number 181 will be operational again within a few days." This transition occurred following the directive from the central government which instructed the Department of Women and Child Development to manage 181 as per a letter to the Chief Secretary dated May 4 last year.

According to an official, the Centre government's guidelines mandate that the helpline should be run by the Women and Child Development department of the state government but here it was being run by the DCW. The government was also not releasing grants for the helpline.

The 181 helpline receives approximately 40,000 calls each month. It is a toll-free, 24-hour telecom service providing support and information to women seeking assistance.

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Published 01 July 2024, 18:43 IST

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