No takers for distress redressal centre for women in Patiala district
Due to the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the district administration, the much-hyped centrally sponsored one-stop distress centre is losing its sheen.
The administration has failed to depute adequate staff to run the centre, which envisages providing all required facilities to women in distress, under one roof.
Besides this, the administration has also failed to publicise the crisis centre for survivors of sexual abuse, rape and domestic violence. Only two rape survivors and 46 victims of domestic violence have approached the centre since its inception in Patiala in May, 2017.
The objective behind starting the centre was to provide medical, legal and police assistance to victims of sexual abuse, rape and domestic violence, under one roof.
The services to be provided at the centre include medical assistance, reference to hospitals, first aid, help in lodging first information report (FIR) at the police station concerned, legal counselling through lawyers and video conferencing to facilitate police proceedings.
An official of the district administration, while pleading anonymity, said, “The posts of caseworker, police facilitation officer (PFO), paralegal personnel, paramedical professor are lying vacant since the centre was opened. Two multi-purpose helpers and two IT staffers have been deputed at the centre just two months back.”
“Apart from this, the deputation period of centre administrator is ending on this Friday (January 31). Responsibility of the centre’s in-charge has been additionally assigned to the child development and project officer (CDPO), who is also performing the work of a counsellor,” the official added.
District protection officer (DPO) Gulbahar Singh has confirmed this. “We do not have adequate staff at the centre, but we are managing it well and providing all services to the victims who approach us at the centre. Meanwhile, we are also in the process of hiring the required staff for the centre,” he said.
“The scheme doesn’t get the expected response. We are receiving very few complaints at the centre and have appointed staff on deputation as per the number of complaints,” he added.