India on 17 September 2014
Location : Mumbai | Source : DNA. Image Source: DNA

With 'women security' as a priority, the Mumbai police has come up with an emergency helpline number; the question is—are women even aware of it?

The safety and security of women and children has forever been a concern for the maximum city. However, there hasn't been much improvement on the issue. Women continue to be eve-teased, abused physically and harassed mentally. Every day, at least one rape case gets registered. From deserted stretches to crowded areas, women are still unsure about their security.

But now, help is a phone call away. Call 103, a special emergency helpline number made available under an initiative of the Mumbai Police. This helpline, through police intervention, takes action on offenders threatening women's security. Complaints can be raised against issues like domestic violence (physical or mental), sexual harassment, financial abuse; women can now make use of this easy-to-remember helpline. With the main work station at the city police headquarters, the government has also appointed many NGOs to help women in need, be it counselling or help with the law. Women can call this number in distress or when they need advice. We ask South Mumbai residents whether they are aware of the helpline number 103, and here's what we found:

Recently, the Mumbai police introduced another initiative called 'Travel safe when alone', which is an SMS campaign. When a woman travelling during odd hours is feeling unsafe and suspicious of the vehicle she is in, she can message the details of the vehicle on the toll-free number 99697 77888; it is incumbent on the city police to do a follow-up. DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni, Chief PRO, Mumbai Police says, "On an average, we receive about 100 calls a day. These are further forwarded to the concerned police station and immediate actions are taken. We also have introduced 205 Women Beat Marshalls especially for women. This system is available 24/7."

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