Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 20: Notwithstanding the rising graph of crimes against women, the 181 women’s helpline has turned into a ‘go-to’ entity for women in distress. The helpline service will complete three years of its existence in Assam on March 29.

The helpline has its office in the city and is connected to 30 one-stop-centres located across the State through an exclusive software system. The main component of the helpline is its call centre at its Guwahati office where people can call any time to report any crime against women.

“Through our software-operated system, it becomes very easy to address all kinds of cases of crime against women. Filing a case and transferring it to the district concerned can be done with any hassle, which also saves time. We are also helping needy women in accessing free legal aid,” Neelakshi Sarma, an official of the helpline, told The Assam Tribune.

According to Sarma, the main feature of the helpline is that on receiving a case, its officials as part of the procedure develop a complete profile of the case and the complainant.

Both the profiles are readily available, as a result of which it become easy to expedite all necessary legal and official procedures. The process ensures that the victim or the complainant does not face any undue harassment in the name of providing details to different officials.

“Our main aim is to provide hassle-free service to women in distress, so that not a single case of crime against women remains unreported. We are particularly concentrating on proper implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act in the state. After receiving a complaint, we help the complainant from drafting of police complaint to availing of legal aid along with linking the victim with various welfare schemes of the government,” Sarma added.

As per official data, since its inception up to February 15, the helpline has registered 3,136 cases in Assam. Among those cases, 204 were crimes against girls of below 18 years and 169 cases were crimes against women of above 18 years.

Moreover, 574 cases were registered under relevant sections of the IPC, while 157 were cases of cyber crime. There were 1,717 cases of domestic violence and 138 were related to human rights violation of women. In addition to these, 50 cases related to the POCSO Act were registered, along with 53 cases of sexual violence.

Further, 27 cases were referred to the relevant wing of the State Social Welfare department for redressal. As many as 23 cases of domestic violence during live-in relationships were also reported along with 24 cases under various other categories.

The graph of cases registered with the helpline also showed an exponential growth. The data showed that during 2018, it has registered 979 cases from across the state, followed by 716 in 2019 and 1,305 in 2020. According to the statistics, last year, the highest 333 cases were reported in Kamrup (Metro) district followed by Kamrup (81) and Lakhimpur (69) districts.