Lack of exclusive helpline for woman issues decried

Call to increase awareness on punishment for atrocities against women

Published - November 30, 2019 10:03 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Activists of the National Federation of Indian Women take out a rally protesting against the recent gangrape and killing of a veterinarian, in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Activists of the National Federation of Indian Women take out a rally protesting against the recent gangrape and killing of a veterinarian, in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Lack of an exclusive helpline in Telangana to address issues faced by women, absence of awareness drives on importance of women’s consent, and other aspects were raised by leaders of women’s organizations at a round table meeting to fight atrocities against women, organised by National Federation of Indian Women (NIFW) – Telangana State chapter, at Maqdoom Bhavan, Himayatnagar, on Saturday.

They condemned Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali and Police officials’ statement that the 27-year-old veterinarian, who was gang-raped and murdered at Chattanapally near Shadnagar, could have been saved had she called the Police instead of her sister.

Women’s consent

Jyothsna Tirunagiri, from NGO Samskara, said that the atrocities against women will not stop until fear about punishment that will be imposed for the crime is created in people’s minds.

“We failed to generate awareness on Nirbhaya Act and The Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. It should start from home, by informing my son, men in my family about the punishment that will be meted out if a woman’s consent is not taken,” Ms. Jyothsna said.

All India convener of Progressive Organisation for Women (PoW) V Sandhya expressed her anguish that though they have been stressing from the past 40 years that atrocities on women will come down only if inequality between men and women is removed, steps have not been taken.

Stressing that they have informed successive governments and committees about importance of consent, Ms Sandhya said that regardless of wherever she is, the consent of a woman is always important.

Separate helpline

“Though there is a helpline for medical emergencies, issues related to children, there is no separate helpline for women in distress,” she said. Taking a dig at the State government’s sari distribution programme, she said that women need security, self-respect and means of livelihood.

The charges of the veterinarian’s parents that the victim’s sister had to run around two police stations because police cited jurisdictional limits, which further delayed the chances of saving the victim’s life, was also highlighted at the round table.

National vice president of All India Democratic Women’s Association B Haimavathi said that action has to be taken against personnel of police stations who turned away the veterinarian’s sister citing jurisdictional limits. She spoke about how consumption of liquor contributes to atrocities against women.

Teach to handle crisis

Social analyst and transformational trainer Swapnika Sriram said parents teach children how to earn money but do not educate them on what needs to be done in crisis situations. Accessing routes one has to take to reach a destination, time to travel the distance, whom to call if they land in crisis, has to be taught.

“We don’t teach children how to deal with life. An agitated mind will not find solutions,” Ms Swapnika said.

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