Following the success of the 181 women in distress helpline, the Delhi government on Thursday decided to geographically map all future calls to the helpline in an effort to map crimes against women in the national capital. Following a review of the helpline service, senior officials said at least 53 per cent of calls were connected to stalking and that all relevant departments would now maintain a detailed register of calls to the helpline.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who chaired the review meeting stated that the helpline received at least 2,000 calls every day. “Many women who have benefited from the service have even called back to thank us, which is a very positive sign. We have now suggested several improvements to the service and will review the progress in the next two weeks,” Dikshit said.
Departments that attended the meeting included police, law, health, commission for women, women and child and the Delhi Legal Services Authority.
According to Additional Secretary to Chief Minister Kulan and Joshi, who oversees the helpline, the plan is to now begin geographical mapping of calls. “Considering the volume of calls, we believe mapping these calls will help us focus on areas that need attention. Once we collect enough data, the government can focus on improving and addressing concerns in areas from where we receive the most calls,” Joshi said.
He said a meeting will be held every month to make any necessary improvements or changes.
Following data that showed at least 53 per cent of calls to the helpline connected to stalking, the Delhi Police has begun work to link their anti-stalking number 1096 to the police control room. “Delhi Police Special Commissioner T N Mohan, who was present in the meeting, stated that they were working on attaching the 1096 number to the control room to improve efficiency,” Joshi said.
According to Dikshit, all the departments concerned have also been directed to maintain detailed registers. “There are several departments connected to the helpline and each has a role to play. I have directed all departments to maintain complete records of calls concerning them, the response and the action taken,” Dikshit said.
She said police department were informed of the police stations that had not responded well to the calls from the helpline.
When asked about unrelated calls to the helpline, Dikshit said, “A few days ago, a woman called and was crying inconsolably