Three important initiatives on women’s safety conceptualized by the WCD Ministry to be launched tomorrow

Ministry of Women and Child Development

Three important initiatives on women’s safety conceptualized by the WCD Ministry to be launched tomorrow

Posted On: 18 FEB 2019 7:29PM by PIB Delhi

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has conceptualized several initiatives to promote safety of women in their living spaces, working spaces and the public spaces. Three of these important initiatives will be launched jointly by the Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh and WCD Minister, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi tomorrow.

Panic Button

The idea of having a panic button on the mobile phone was conceived way back in 2015 and after a series of deliberations with the Ministry of Telecom, mobile phone manufacturers and mobile telephony service providers, the  Ministry of Telecom mandated a physical panic button on all mobile phones in the country. It was also noted that such a panic button must be backed by an emergency response mechanism through the local police when panic button message would alert the specified family members etc. of a woman in distress situation. This system was then conceptualized in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs and state governments were asked to put in place a dedicated Emergency Response Centre through which the entire system will be operated. The emergency response system can be triggered in the following manners:-

a. On the smart phones, the power button (which is dedicated panic button) when pressed three times      quickly.
b. Dialing 112 from any phone.
c. In case of feature phones, long press of the touch key 5 or 9.
d. Using 112 India Mobile App which is available for free downloading.

The emergency message coming  out of the above modes, will trigger a response from the emergency response centre through a team of trained personnel who can handle emergency requests of various kinds and get the necessary relief services launched. For Women and children, 112 India App provides a special SHOUT feature which alerts registered volunteers in the vicinity of victim for immediate assistance.

The emergency response system was soft launched in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland recently and is being launched in 14 more states on 19.02.2019. A total amount of Rs.321.69 crores has been provided for this initiative through the Nirbhaya fund.

SCIM portal under Safe City Project

In order to provide safety for women in public spaces, the Government has identified eight cities for implementation of Safe City project. The 8 major cities which have been chosen are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai. Detailed projects for this have been prepared jointly by the municipal bodies and the local police authorities. The projects include creation on ground assets & resources and mindset safety of women. Some of the key  features of the safe city project include:

a. Identification of sensitive hot spots in each city,
b. Installation of CCTV surveillance covering the entire hot spot.
c. Automated number plate reading machines to be deployed in extremely sensitive areas.
d. Intensive patrolling in vulnerable areas beyond the identified hot spots.
e. Improving street lighting and public toilet facilities for women.
f. Others like setting up women help desks in police stations, augmentation of women support                  centres  etc.

All the above measures would be coordinated through an Integrated Smart Control Room in the city. In order to facilitate States to monitor and manage the Safe City projects and avoid duplication on ground, an online Safe City Implementation Monitoring (SCIM) portal has been developed by MHA which will also be launched tomorrow. SCIM will facilitate online tracking of deployment of assets and infrastructure created under the Safe City projects. SCIM facilitates an evidence based online monitoring system. SCIM also creates a digital repository of assets, infrastructure and social outreach programs, as well as best practices achieved in each City.

DNA Analysis Facilities in States

In view of the complaints of delay in cases of sexual assault investigations, it was proposed that dedicated DNA analysis facilities should be created in the forensic science laboratories on a mission mode. Timely testing of DNA samples from the crime scene is the quickest process of obtaining forensic evidence in cases of sexual assault on women. In the initial phase, dedicated DNA analysis facilities have been sanctioned for the forensic science laboratories located at Chennai, Madurai, Agra, Lucknow, Mumbai and Kolkata. The equipments to be provided under this initiative include refrigerated facility for samples, automated DNA extractor & sequencer, centrifuges, genetic analyzers etc. A sum of Rs.78.86 crores has been sanctioned for this initiative through the  Nirbhaya fund.  Expert technicians are also being recruited and trained for the forensic analysis.

While thanking the Minister of Home Affairs for setting up a separate women safety division in the Home Ministry, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has stated that the two ministries are collaborating intensively to ensure that women are safe in the country. She also informed that the One Stop Centre Scheme, funded through the Nirbhaya Fund, is being implemented by the WCD Ministry and 314 centres have started working across the country. These centres have helped 2.2 lakh women so far. Similarly Women Helpline has been made operational in 31 states/ UTs  and assistance has been provided to over 25 lakh women. The Minister has stated that besides the initiatives referred above, fast track special courts for cases of sexual assaults are also being established in collaboration with Ministry of Law for which Rs.767 crores has been sanctioned through the Nirbhaya Fund. Projects for Central Victim Compensation Fund for Rs.200 crores and Cyber Crime Prevention Against Women and Children for Rs.224 crores have also been appraised and approved under above and in the Nirbhaya Fund.

Source : PIB

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