Around 4,000 women are expected to participate in the inaugural of ‘Nirbhaya Keralam, Surakshitha Keralam’ programme, which will be attended by members of the leadership of the state and the Centre, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth, after the district administration’s meeting with the Police and Health department officials on Tuesday, said that members of Kudumbashree, Asha workers, various women’s associations and girl students will attend the inauguration function. Rs 7.5 crore has been allocated in the state budget to the project. The Centre has also agreed to fund the project.
Once implemented, small women volunteer groups called ‘Nirbhaya’ will be formed at panchayat level. These elected volunteers will receive an honorarium and a mobile phone SIM card. The police force is tasked to train these volunteers. According to the authorities, ‘Nirbhaya’ volunteers will go on a door-to-door campaign in their respective regions, meeting women, children and senior members in every family. The volunteers will rescue women who face any kind of threat.
The volunteers will be overlooked by the local police system, and in future, student police cadets and other service groups will also be linked to the ‘Nirbhaya’ project.The aim of the project is to stop exploitation and other crimes against women and children.
Apart from supporting orphaned elders and poor patients, the project would also initiate campaigns against alcohol, drugs, rape and so on. In six districts -- Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur, Malappuram and Kannur -- women-friendly police stations will be launched as part of the ‘Nirbhaya’ project. At present, only three districts, Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, have this system. Public transport and workplaces will be made more women friendly and a unique helpline for children is also in the pipeline.
Apart from the Collector, Deputy Police Commissioner Muhammad Rafeeq, National Health Mission Programme Manager K M Beena and RTO B J Antony were present in the meeting.