A meeting of the district alert committee formed to address complaints of women and children has called for setting up a rescue home of the Women’s Commission in the district.

At present, Thiruvananthapuram alone has such a home in the State.

The meeting decided to approach the Union government for setting up a rescue home complete with short-stay facilities, counselling centre, helpline, and a vocational training centre.

Alert committees

An arrangement at the block level will be put in place to coordinate the functioning of panchayat-level alert committees. Awareness campaigns about alert committees will be held for Kudumbasree members. Complaint boxes will be set up at village panchayat headquarters and offices of the social justice department. The district-level committee will only consider complaints that cannot be resolved at the lower levels.

Participants of the meeting observed that disintegration of families owing to financial and sexual issues and alcoholism are on the rise.

Women’s Commission members Lissy Jose said that alert committees are aimed at reducing causes for complaints rather than collecting it in numbers. She urged the committee to work towards eliminating the consumerist attitude towards women.

Counselling sessions

Awareness against harassment of women and children should be created in the society through seminars and counselling sessions.

Teachers are best placed to detect harassment of children. Assistance of Kudumbasree members, Literacy preraks, and ASHA activists who are in constant touch with society should be leveraged for the purpose.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Bijo Alexander said that complaints about domestic violence were being received in numbers through the complaint boxes set up in schools.

Many complaints pointed at the problems faced by women even in households. Such complaints will be handed over to the alert committee. Mr. Alexander said that the police helpline numbers were open for registering complaints at any time. This was in addition to the Childline number of 1098.

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