Helpline works in city, but not in rest of state | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Helpline works in city, but not in rest of state

mumbai Updated: Apr 06, 2010 01:11 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times
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The dedicated toll free helpline for women and children — 103 — is functional only in Mumbai, unlike the government’s plan to provide the service across the state.

During a function on March 4, additional chief secretary (Home), Chandra Iyengar announced that the state had decided to extend the scheme to the rest of the state from April 1.

The helpline was launched in Mumbai in February 2008.

However, when a Hindustan Times reporter from Pune called the number, he did not get any response.

“I presume it is working,” Iyengar told Hindustan Times on Monday on being asked whether the helpline service had been extended outside Mumbai. “Please check it with the DG’s office,” she added when told that the scheme had not taken off so far.

Mumbai police commissioner D Sivanandhan and Nandita Shah, chairperson of AKSARA, the NGO that has been working closely with the Mumbai police in the making the scheme a success since the past two years, were the other speakers on the occasion.

Nandita Shah, who has been working with the Mumbai police to launch the service said: “The process will take some more time to become operational.” When asked to specify the time frame, she said, “Give us some more time. We will come out with it.”

The helpline becomes a necessity in the face of increasing crime rates among women and children in the state. While crime rates in Mumbai top the state’s list, cities such as Pune have also been witnessing rising crime levels.