NEW DELHI: Over 2.47 lakh phone calls were registered by the government’s women helpline from April to June last year when the country was under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Women and Child Development Ministry said on Thursday.
From March 25, 2020, till May 31, 2020, the country was under complete lockdown due to COVID-19, and the unlock procedure was started from June 2020.
In a written response to a question in Rajya Sabha, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said the scheme of ‘Universalisation of Women Helpline (WHL)’ through toll free number 181 is operational in 33 states and Union Territories.
“As per the information received from states/UTs, during the period between April 2020 to June 2020, over 2.47 lakh calls were registered in WHLs,” she said.
The helpline aims to provide emergency and non-emergency referral and information service to women affected by violence and in distress.
The WHLs work in coordination with the One-Stop Centres (OSC) established in 700 districts across the country.
These OSCs facilitate a range of integrated services under one roof such as police facilitation, providing legal aid and legal counselling, medical aid, psycho-social counselling and temporary shelter.
In response to another question, Irani said the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) received 354 complaints through the POCSO e-Box during the last three years, i.e., 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and the current year 2020-21 (till January 31, 2021).