HYDERABAD: Now, dial 181, Telangana has a new helpline for anything related to women welfare, be it issues including sexual harassment, immoral trafficking, stalking, domestic violence or dowry harassment among others. The helpline will be functioning on all the 365 days, 24X7 and will also help in providing information related to women’s welfare schemes. Technological support for the helpline has been provided by GVK-E MRI.
Women with suicidal tendencies or those who are mentally disturbed can also contact the helpline.
Protection and safety of women is the main objective of the Telangana government, said Thummala Nageswara Rao, minister, Women and Child Development on Saturday after launching it. The Minister said that if any woman feels unsafe in public or private places can contact the helpline. There is no age bar for calling on the number. “If women are in trouble, then they will be provided temporary shelter in government or other buildings on a temporary basis,” added the minister.
The helpline will also respond to calls on dowry harassment cases, sale of girl child and immoral trafficking. Women with suicidal tendencies, or those who are mentally disturbed can also contact the helpline.
“KCR Kits, the Telangana government’s most recent initiative for pregnant women has reinforced faith in the public health care system. Our chief minister encourages us to make women’s welfare the focal point of our functioning. Following the same, we have started this helpline number,” said the minister.
Gundu Sudharani, chairperson of Women’s Corporation said that the helpline services should be put to the best use and programmes will be conducted to spread awareness about the helpline.
How it works?
Special response officers appointed at the helpline centres are trained social work professionals will decide on appropriate intervention and connect them to the relevant department or a government initiative started for the welfare of women in the past. These include Sakhi centres, Bharosa centre, SHE Teams, Ambulance services or the police depending on the need. Women in distress can also seek counselling from the special officers. Linking a woman to a service will depend on the case and there is no set time period. However, they will be attended to immediately.
When Express contacted them around 5 pm on Saturday, there was response within five seconds of dialling 181. “While we don’t have the number of calls recorded, most of the callers needed help for domestic and street harassment and they have been diverted to the police stations concerned. In case women need health support, we will divert them to the nearest hospital,” said Vani, a response officer.
A special officer from the Department of Women and Child Development will soon be appointed to oversee the functioning of the helpline.
181 FOR DAMSELS IN DISTRESS
181 helpline launched for women
Dowry harassment, sexual harassment, domestic violence, eve teasing can be reported to 181
The callers will get counselling, protection and temporary shelter
Helpline works 24X7 on all 365 days
No age bar for calling helpline
Helpline is funded by Centre & supported by GVK EMRI