New Delhi: The Delhi government's 181 helpline for women in distress, which was launched in the wake of the December 16 gangrape, has received over two lakh calls in the last four-and-half months. Officials said most of the calls received by the round-the-clock help line were related to stalking, eve-teasing, obscene calls and facing sexual abuse and domestic harassment.
The helpline was launched on December 31, 2012 to help women in distress and check increasing rate of crime against the fairer sex. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday reviewed functioning of the helpline at a high-level meeting attended by representatives of various stakeholders, including police, Delhi Commission for Women and department of women and child welfare. The Chief Minister asked all stakeholders to work in close cooperation to ensure a better response system for women in distress and suggested that cyber crime targeting the fairer sex should also be taken up seriously as there has been increasing cases of such crimes.
Dikshit, who was brain behind launch of the helpline, also asked Health Department to procure five well equipped ambulances exclusively to offer medical help to women victims of various forms of violence. Following a suggestion by Dikshit, the stakeholders decided to meet at least once in two months to review the functioning of the 181 helpline as well as the follow up response mechanism by various agencies. The helpline operates from the Chief Minister's office in Delhi Secretariat.
Expressing satisfaction over performance of people running the helpline, Dikshit said a number of states have shown interests to set up similar facilities for women. "Many states have shown interests in setting up similar helplines," she said. Officials said the meeting decided to take technical help from Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) for keeping recordings of the huge number of telephone calls.