In the wake of rising incidents of violence against Indian students in Melbourne, a new helpline service has been launched to protect them and improve their personal security.
The helpline number - 1800, which came into effect on Friday, is the initiative of community members known as Police Indian Western Reference Group (PIWRG).
The group was launched in the western suburbs of Melbourne in January to help stem the rise in violent robberies involving Indian victims.
The number will be staffed by trained volunteers, who are fluent in both Hindi and English, from Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria and the Victorian International Students Association from Monday to Friday.
Victoria Police members yesterday trained volunteers on police procedures and victim support services and other services including Wageline, Consumer Affairs, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service, so they can be called on to support Indian students.
According to a media statement by state police, Region 2, Division-1 Superintendent Graham Kent said the volunteers would be supported by police members.