India on 31 July 2013
Location : BHUBANESWAR, India | Source : Daily Pioneer.

In order to provide in-time help to women in distress, the State Government will launch a round-the-clock helpline service '181'.The helpline will be connected with all the 32 police district chiefs’ offices and two urban police districts while the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has agreed to provide such facilities. Special Secretary of Home Department Lalit Das is in touch with BSNL top officials in this regard.

The calls coming to 181 would be received by offices of Superintendents of Police and Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCP) and later referred to the police stations concerned. So, all the 537 police stations would be in the loop, said a senior official in the Home Department.

Earlier due to much hue and cry over safety of women in the wake of the Delhi gangrape incident, the State Government had initiated a move to launch a dedicated helpline for women across the State. Then, it had planned to set up a four-digit toll-free number, but with the BSNL providing the three-digit number, 181, it would be easier on the part of the people to remember the number, added sources.

Notably, the Delhi Government has already opened such facilities last year, and later steps were taken to connect all the 185 police stations in the national capital with this system.

Now, Odisha is opting for such a facility. During the last meeting of senior police officers in January, DGP Prakash Mishra had asked the top cops to operate a 24x7 helpline for women seeking help at the time of distress. And now, the authorities are seriously taking up the case for the cause of distressed women and setting up the facility, said sources.

The State Government has also opened Women Cells at all the SP offices and strengthened the Mahila and Sishu Desks at all the police stations. Dedicated officers have been posted to look after these desks after the Government sanctioned 537 posts of Sub-Inspector to take care of the helpdesks

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