HYDERABAD: As a result of two years of relentless campaigning by activists and woman volunteers from across the State, the Telangana government, in November 2020, had launched a portal for the State Women’s Commission, which was introduced to help women lodge complaints online. Unfortunately, several months have passed since the launch, but the portal remains non-functional till date.
While officials of the Commission blame technical glitches for the portal’s inactivity, many women activists allege that the authorities are merely lackadaisical.
In July 2018, Hyderabad-based women’s rights activist Spurthi Kolipaka had floated a Change.org petition urging Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) KT Rama Rao to appoint a chairperson for the State Women’s Commission and to ensure that a portal was launched to help women register complaints online. The petition was signed by more than 30,000 persons from across the State.
The Commission finally got its own website in November 2020, and a new chairperson was appointed in January this year.
Speaking to Express over a month ago, Sunitha Lakshma Reddy, the new chairperson of the Commission, had said that a few technical errors were hindering the operational capability of the portal and that these issues would be resolved within a week. However, the portal remains defunct as on Thursday.
Stating that it is imperative that the portal starts functioning as soon as possible, Spurthi said, “The portal was launched months ago claiming it would act as a new tool for many oppressed women to seek help from the Commission. The portal, which continues to be non-functional months after its launch, is only limiting women. On one hand, we are urging women to step out and speak up against the violence and harassment they are facing, but on the other hand, we are limiting their access.”
She added that the said portal would have been of great help to women especially during the pandemic, as they could have filed the complaints from afar without leaving their homes.
The Change.org petition also highlighted the fact that the Commission had not released an annual report since its formation.
“There has been no annual report since Telangana’s formation. Will this year be any different? Will we get to know what the Commission has been doing till date?” Spurthi asked.
A month ago, Sunitha Lakshma Reddy, the chairperson of the Women’s Commission, had said that a few technical errors were hindering the operational capability of the portal and that they would be resolved within a week. The portal remains defunct as on Thursday.