Haryana, with its patriarchal society and a dismal sex ratio of just over 860 women per 1,000 males, has initiated a new scheme to involve women in rural areas to help check crimes against their peers.
Haryana Police have decided to constitute a special group of five such 'socially aware' village women who will be instrumental in preventing atrocities and crimes against women like domestic violence, rape, kidnapping, dowry and murder.
"Police would provide them a toll free number to enable them to contact police to report any crime," a spokesman of the police department said.
The villages in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Karnal, Panipat and Sonepat districts would be covered under this scheme.
"The all women group would not only create awareness among villagers about preventing such crimes but also inform police in case of any incident of crime so that victimized women can be provided timely help," the official added.
He said five educated women of the village concerned would be nominated as members of the group and they would coordinate with the police's women's cell. These women would also apprise other women about their socio-economic rights.
He added that these groups would also be involved in the investigations of women-related crimes.
"The victimised women would be provided free legal, medical and psychological help and a district level woman advocate, a woman doctor and a woman psychologist would also be connected with the group," the spokesman added.
All district police chiefs under the Rohtak range have been asked to identify five women from each village under their respective jurisdiction to set up the women's-help groups immediately.