From September 10, women and children will have a round-the-clock helping hand in the State capital.

The initiative is in the form of a helpdesk from Kudumbasree, which will be inaugurated at the Panchayat Association Hall here by Social Justice Minister M.K. Muneer at 10.30 a.m. on September 10.

The helpdesk, to be named ‘Snehitha,’ will be based at Sasthamangalam and will offer counselling and support, apart from social and legal assistance to women and children.

The Sasthamangalam office, according to Kudumbasree authorities, will be the regional centre for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts. According to Kudumbasree director Abbey Paul, Snehitha would also function as a service centre to guide women who require help from government or non-governmental institutions in matters related to livelihood and safety.

It will organise training programmes and awareness classes apart from offering help and advice on safe places to stay for women who reach here from other districts.

Kudumbasree District Mission Coordinator Geetha Philip said plans were afoot to arrange short stays for destitute women and children apart from an accredited home-stay facility for up to six months as well.

A meeting chaired by District Collector K.N. Satheesh also discussed how the services of Snehitha could be best utilised and made beneficial for more women through the coordination of various departments.

Discussions were also on to see how Snehitha could be integrated with programmes of various departments intended for the safety of women and children, like the NRHM’s 24-hour Direct Intervention System for Health Awareness (DISHA), Nirbhaya’s One-stop Crisis Cell, the Vanitha Helpline of the police, the General Hospital, Social Security Mission and other programmes of the Social Justice Department.

The officials added that vigil committees would be set up to ensure more representation and involvement of people’s representatives in the initiative.