The state women and child development department will soon appoint protection officers in districts and supervisors in blocks to tackle atrocities and ensure effective execution of programmes for women’s empowerment.
“Rajasthan will be the first state in the country, which is creating a separate cadre to redress women and children’s issues – at the district level there will be a protection officer and women supervisors at the block level,” women and child development minister Anita Bhadel told HT on Monday.
“The state cabinet chaired by chief minister Vasundhara Raje has approved the amendments to the service rules,” she said.
Rajasthan has 33 districts and 295 blocks. Though crimes against women, such as dowry deaths, outraging modesty and kidnapping, decreased in 2016, the number of rapes increased by 0.54%, and of harassment by 0.33%, crime branch data shows. Overall, crime cases against women registered a 2.58% decrease in 2016; in 2015, the drop was 9.55%.
Bhadel said protection officers and supervisors would directly deal with atrocities against women and children. “The protection officer will send a domestic incident report to the magistrate, in such form and manner as prescribed, upon receipt of a complaint of domestic violence and forward copies thereof to the police officer,” she said.
The protection officer will ensure that the aggrieved person is provided aid under the legal services authority Act, a safe shelter home if required, medically examined, and given monetary relief. The supervisors, in cases of violence, will immediately inform the administration, and apprise women about government schemes and programmes. They could also organise self-defence classes to empower women.
The supervisors will act as a bridge between the protection officer and programme officer at district level, and sathin (village-level workers for women’s programmes) at gram panchayats.
The Rajasthan Public Service Commission will recruit protection officers and State Ministerial Selection Board supervisors.