The Maharashtra Government on Thursday issued a government resolution on the launch of a toll-free 181 Women Helpline to provide urgent assistance to distressed women in the state. This was started by the state women and child welfare department as per the Centre’s guidelines issued for the implementation of Mission Shakti which is an integrated women empowerment programme for safety, security and empowerment of women.
All emergency services to be provided on this helpline
All emergency services (Police, Ambulance, etc) will be provided through the Women’s Helpline. All emergency services will be linked to the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) and a toll-free helpline will be available 24 hours a day for women seeking help and information.
Information on government schemes/programmes, facilities will also be provided through this help line. In addition, in areas where women live or work, they can contact officers in charge of anti dowry, anti child marriage through the 181 helpline.
Several services to be integrated under one helpline
For emergency response and assistance with “181 Women Helpline,’’ the Support System (ERSS), One Stop Center and other services such as 1098 Child Line, NALSA Helpline will be integrated. Through “181 Women Helpline” the women will be provided psycho-social counselling, legal aid, empowerment opportunities (skills, training, financial assistance, entrepreneurship) to connect them with appropriate institutional and planned setups.
A woman in a distress situation or someone on her behalf may call the toll-free number “181 Women Helpline”. Based on the information given by the woman, the victim is immediately referred to the emergency response support system (ERSS) and One Stop Center (OSC) of the district for emergency services.
Helpline to be hearing and speech impaired-friendly
Information will be given about the current scheme of the government through the Women’s Helpline or the nearest One Stop Center will be informed.
The helpline will also provide assistance or information through non-text messages, taking into consideration the needs of the hearing and speech impaired or handicapped persons.