The state government has hiked the honorarium of the staff working at Santwana Helpline. However, they have not received their honorarium for the last seven months!
Dakshina Kannada district has five Santwana centres, run by various NGOs.
The centres at Puttur and Bantwal are run by Jana Shikshana Trust, Mangaluru by Prajna Counselling Centre and the centres at Belthangady and Sullia by respective taluk Mahila Samajas.
Each Santwana centre has one counsellor and three social workers and they work round-the-clock and on all the seven days in a week counselling and helping the women victims of various atrocities such as dowry, rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence.
With a view to console women in distress and rehabilitate them, the scheme of “Santwana” was launched during the year 2001-02.
The scheme not only aims at providing legal assistance, financial relief, temporary shelter, health facilities and protection to the victims of atrocities, but also helps them to be self reliant by providing training (various courses) so that they can lead a normal life like other women in the society.
Jana Shikshana Trust Director Krishna Moolya said the staff had not been paid the honorarium by the state government since June in spite of bringing the issue to the notice of Director of Women and Child Welfare department, Deputy Commissioner and Zilla Panchayat CEO.
In a letter to the Director, Women and Child Development Department, Moolya has stated, “Staff at Santwana (Centres) are dependent on the honorarium for their livelihood. The non-payment of the honorarium has affected the maintenance of their family and they are facing problems. Though the Deputy Director of Women and Child Development Department has submitted all the required bills to the higher authorities, no action has been initiated to release the honorarium.”
Meantime, the state government in its recent order has hiked the honorarium of the staff at Santwana Centres. As per the order, the honorarium for counsellors and social workers has been hiked to Rs 15,000 from Rs 10,000 and Rs 10,000 from 6,000 respectively.
Further, rent for the building of Santwana centres in taluk headquarters has been hiked to Rs 5,000 from Rs 3,000.