Staff Reporter

MADURAI: Non-governmental organisations should function as catalysts and bridge the gap between the police and public, said N. Shenbaharaman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Madurai Range, here on Wednesday.

He was addressing women police personnel and NGOs after inaugurating the `Women Help Line,' at a meeting held at Society for Community Organisation (SOCO) Trust.

Pointing out that the function marked revival of the help line that had become defunct for some reasons, Mr. Shenbaharaman said that NGOs would be able to play a proactive role in combating atrocities against women.

He also promised that all women police stations would have an exclusive counselling cell that would be jointly manned by police personnel and representatives from NGOs. As part of the `Women Help Line,' a mobile counselling centre would visit every village to cater to the needs of women who were in distress. The SOCO Trust, the coordinating organisation, would also convene monthly review meetings and organise re-orientation programmes for counsellors both in the police department and NGOs, said S. Selvagomathy, Law officer, Human Rights Cell, SOCO Trust.

Inspectors of Police and Sub Inspectors of all women police stations in Madurai and Virudhunagar districts and representatives from 40 NGOs participated. The toll-free help line number is 1091.