Free Press Journal

Maharashtra to start counselling helpline for women from March 8

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Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) is launching a special counselling helpline on March 8 for women in distress.

The helpline, said to be the first such service by a state in the country, will be launched on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

“The helpline will start from the International Women’s Day – March 8 – and the number would be announced the same day,” Vijaya Rahatkar, chairperson of the MSCW, said today.


“The commission has appointed counsellors, who will be answering the calls of distressed women and counsel them about their issues, their rights and, if necessary, the legal steps to be taken,” she told reporters here.

“Women across Maharashtra can call on the helpline number. There will be two telephone lines available for the time being with the Commission and more can be added if required,” the chairperson added.

According to Rahatkar, the panel has developed a software to keep a track of the complaints and functioning of the helpline.

“The counsellors will operate during the office hours (generally 9 am to 5 pm) and provide counselling to women in distress,” she added.

Rahatkar said feedback and response of women will be discussed with the counsellors to make necessary changes in its functioning.

Quizzed about the number of complaints the MSCW gets, she said, “Every district generally receives 25-40 complaints (everyday). Many cases are solved on the spot while others have to be followed up for some period.

“The commission operates as a quasi-judicial authority and can use its rights to solve some complaints.”