The National Commission for Women (NCW) has received a total of 13,410 complaints of violence, including 1,443 through WhatsApp, since March this year, Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply on Tuesday.
Out of these, 4,350 complaints were registered under the category, “Protection of women against domestic violence”, during the last six months — from March 2020 to September 18, 2020. According to the written reply, the maximum number of such complaints – 968 — was received from the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, out of which 190 were registered through WhatsApp.
Soon after the national lockdown was announced from March 24 in wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the NCW launched an ad campaign both on electronic media and social media, asking women to come forward and report any kind of violence they suffered. Further, the NCW also launched a WhatsApp number — 7217735372 — on April 10 for reporting domestic violence cases.
Irani, in the written reply, said the complaints were being acted upon by coordinating with the victims, police and other authorities.
“Police and Public Order are State subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India… Nevertheless, giving high priority to safety of women, the Central Government has also taken a number of initiatives… during the last six months. The Government has ensured that their schemes of One Stop Centres (OSCs), Universalisation of Women Help Line (WHL), Ujjawala Homes, SwadharGreh, Emergency Response Support System (112)… remain operational and available for providing assistance to women…,” read the reply, adding that the government has also undertaken sensitisation programmes for the concerned state and union territory officials.