Noida: Gautam Budh Nagar gets its own rescue van for women
The van is supposed to supplement the 181 helpline number and provide emergency legal and medical assistance to women in distressnoida Updated: Jul 03, 2017 23:39 IST
Almost a year after the Uttar Pradesh government launched the 181 women’s helpline to provide policing, medical and legal assistance to women in the state, Gautam Budh Nagar finally got its own rescue van.
On Monday afternoon, district magistrate BN Singh inaugurated the Bolero Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) that will provide emergency assistance to women.
The district administration has now asked women in the district to extensively use the helpline number for assistance, rescue and empowerment. The helpline was launched under the state’s women and child development department and all calls for help are directed to the Lucknow centre.
“The UP government started this scheme for women’s safety and honour. It has tried to provide women all kinds of assistance under one umbrella. Women in distress can call 181 for any kind of assistance pertaining to crime, sexual assault, domestic violence, dowry and for medical help,” said Singh.
Women can also use this number for calls related to short stay homes, legal assistance, medical aid, immediate police intervention and Childline services.
In May 2016, the Akhilesh Yadav-led UP government had released a helpline number for women across the state. The initiative was launched after an earlier helpline number 1090 had invited criticism from women’s rights groups for inefficiency.
According to PS Niranjan, district probationary officer, the helpline was active in the district for a long time, but distress calls would be diverted to the Ghaziabad centre.
“Earlier, calls from Gautam Budh Nagar would be diverted to Ghaziabad where one rescue van was being used. However, we have received minimal distress calls from the district on this number in the past one year. Now that we have our own van, we hope more and more women will use this number,” he said.
City-based women’s rights activists welcomed the move to introduce a rescue van but stressed on the need to make the helpline number more accessible.
“Not many women know about the number or the rescue vehicle. There is a need to popularise this scheme among as many people possible. Today, women in distress have only the women’s police station at Sector 39 in Noida to go to. If we publicise this scheme properly, more and more women, especially college-going girls, can benefit from it,” said Rajeswari Thyagarajan, a women’s rights activist and vice-president, Society for Sports and Cultural Advancement.