181 women’s helpline ‘in distress’ due to fund crunch

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Published on Jan 08, 2020 09:41 PM IST
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LUCKNOW The UP government’s 181 women’s helpline service is failing to achieve the desired results as the staff’s salaries have not been paid since July while its vehicles lie defunct due to fund crunch.

“The centre, which deals with around 200-300 distress calls in a day, is itself in distress,” said most of the employees dealing with these complaints.

This helpline was conceptualized pan India after the Delhi gangrape case.

Rescue work has come to a standstill as vehicles can’t be used due to lack of funds. However, the counseling work is on at the centre.

“Around 350 employees posted across the state have not received salaries since July last year,” said Ashish Kumar, project head of 181 helpline.

The helpline, which started three years ago in UP, has helped five lakh women and rescued 1.5 lakh of them, he claimed.

The service was started in 11 districts of the state in March 2016 and later extended to other districts. A government official said the objective of the helpline was to help women in distress.

Sensing the gravity of the case, the staff posted at the district level One Stop Centres (Asha Jyoti Centres) used to go the victim to provide help.

Umesh Gupta, a social activist, said: “The government’s reluctance in releasing funds is killing this service. 181 helpline is popular and has adequate infrastructure to deal with cases.”

The scheme is outsourced to GVK EMRI. “We are hopeful that the government would release funds this year. Employees have been working without salaries since July,” said Ashish Kumar, project head of 181 helpline.

This service has an emergency vehicle in each district. But these are lying defunct as the organisation does not have funds to meet the expenses.

“The new principal secretary has taken over. Funds are likely to be released by the end of this month and some development has taken place. The 181 helpline service has also been allotted a new accommodation,” said a state government official.

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STAFF SALARIES NOT PAID

*Rescue work has come to a standstill as vehicles can’t be used due to lack of funds. However, the counseling work is on at the centre.

“Around 350 employees posted across the state have not received salaries since July last year,” said Ashish Kumar, project head of 181 helpline.

*“The new principal secretary has taken over. Funds are likely to be released by the end of this month and some development has taken place. The 181 helpline service has also been allotted a new accommodation,” said a state government official.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021