Special Correspondent

"Mahila desks" formed to receive complaints from women

Puducherry: Chief Minister N. Rangasamy has called upon voluntary organisations championing the cause of women to intensify efforts to curb suicides in the Union Territory.

Inaugurating a one-day workshop on "Gender sensitisation" for police officials organised by the Puducherry Women's Commission under a scheme of the National Commission for Women here on Sunday, he said that it was a matter of concern that suicides by women were occurring at an alarming rate in the Union Territory.

He said that the Government had set up counselling centres through the Department of Women and Child Development to keep a vigil on the trend and to prevent suicides.

However, there should be sustained efforts by the organisations championing women's cause to supplement the efforts of the Government.

Mr. Rangasamy said that the Home Department had set up "Mahila desks" in all the police stations and women police officials had been posted to receive and handle complaints from women.

He said that the police and the Women's Commission should function in tandem to bring about harmony in families divided by marital strife. He also listed various measures launched to empower women to enhance their status.

Chairperson of the Women's Commission S. Kamalini said that the police should show sympathy and adopt a considerate approach in handling complaints from women. She said that a harmonious relationship between the commission and the police department was essential and fortnightly joint meetings would help to review the steps taken for disposal of petitions.

The commission planned to constitute a round-the-clock counselling cell to prevent suicides. M. Tirunavukkarasu, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Stanley Medical College and Hospital, Chennai presented a special speech.

Police officers of various ranks participated in the deliberations.