The SP Government’s helpline dedicated to the state’s womenfolk to ensure their safety-- women power line (WPL)-- will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Akhilesh Singh on Thursday.
And the WPL, which was championed by none other than the CM’s wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav, will have its office at the Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal in the upscale Gomti Nagar locality here.
Soon after he took over as UP’s youngest Chief Minister in March following the SP’s landslide win in the Assembly polls, Akhilesh had announced his government’s intention to utilise the vast expanse of land on which the state’s erstwhile BSP Government had set up the parks and the monuments. Incidentally, the Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal, where the WPL has its office, had been developed under the personal supervision of former Chief Minister Mayawati.
Although the BSP leadership had warned the CM to stay away from the memorials built in the memory of the Dalit icons or be prepared to face the consequences, until now the party has not reacted to the SP Government’s plan to utilise the premises of the memorials.
The WPL is, in fact, a direct phone line which women can access by calling up 1090, to report harassment cases or for getting legal redress on receiving obscene SMS or MMS messages. And the calls would be attended by women police officers only, who would keep the caller’s identity a secret until the case has been solved.
According to a senior woman police officer, there is no denying the fact that eve teasing and crimes against women have been on the rise across the country and the victims avoid going to the police station to lodge their complaints for several reasons. And one of the main reasons for the victims’ reluctance to approach the police is that the officials are not at all friendly to the complainants. “It was at her (Dimple Yadav) insistence that the Chief Minister immediately agreed to start the special helpline , which is the first of its kind (anywhere) in the country,” she said. Dimple had organised a physical training camp for the girls at 5, Kalidas Marg, which is the official residence of the Chief Minister. And the opening of the WPL office at the Ambedkar Memorial is seen as a test case for Akhilesh’s resolve to deliver on his promise.
If the BSP remains muted in its response to the government move, the Akhilesh administration may well go ahead with its plan to open hospitals and schools on the premises of the memorials built by the former Mayawati administration.
Meanwhile, the Bhaiyaa Duij festival--when brothers vow to protect their sisters--falls on Wednesday and the launch of the WPL line for young women is being described as Akhilesh’s gift to the womenfolk on the occasion.