Chandigarh, December 14--Adding yet another to its bulging kitty, Haryana has become the first state in the country to adopt Centre’s initiative on Mahila Police Volunteer Scheme.
The scheme was launched by the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal, with the induction of 950 women as part of the programme in Karnal today. Ms Leena Nair, Secretary Women and Child Development Department, Government of India, was also present. Speaking after the launch, Mr Manohar Lal announced that 1,700 women police personnel would soon be recruited in the Police Department. With this, the strength of women in the Police Department will go up to 8 per cent. The state government would achieve the target of 10 per cent in the near future.
He expressed the hope that Haryana would be the first state to ensure 33 per cent participation of women in the state police force. The Chief Minister administered oath to 950 newly inducted Mahila Police Volunteers. Initially, this scheme has been implemented in two districts, namely Karnal and Mahendergarh. The Mahila Police Volunteer shall be called Gram Sakhi and work as a bridge between the public and police to curb various crimes against women. Under this scheme, one Gram Sakhi would be deputed in each village and ward of Karnal and Mahendergarh. Describing this scheme as a model system of policing, the Chief Minister said that Gram Sakhi would be given monthly honorarium of Rs 1,000. Presently, a victim has to visit police station to register the complaint. But now, Gram Sakhi, on getting information about any crime against women in her area, would be able to directly report to the police on behalf of the victim.
He urged Gram Sakhis to work as Mahila Ki Mitar (Women’s friend.) and keep a close vigil in their area to prevent any crime against women. The state government has set up Women Police Stations in 22 districts of the state and these have proved successful in curbing crime against women. Referring to the Beti Bachao Beti Padhoa Programme, launched by the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, from Panipat on January 22, 2015, the Chief Minister said the state government has announced to set up 28 new women`s colleges out of which foundation stone of six had already been laid and the foundation stone of remaining 22 colleges would be laid on January 22, 2017. It is for the first time that the sex ratio at birth has crossed 900 mark in the state.
He appreciated the efforts of Khap Panchayasts and other Non Government Organizations for taking the initiative and helping the government in improving the sex ratio which was 850 girls per 1,000 boys earlier. New colleges for women would be announced on the basis of mapping which is under way to ascertain the requirement. It is being ensured that there is women`s college every 20 kilometers and the girls do not have to travel more than 10 kilometers, the Chief Minister said. Earlier, Ms Leena Nair said that the idea of Mahila Police Volunteer had been conceived as a special protection officer. She congratulated the Haryana Government for accepting this initiative and becoming the first state to implement the scheme.
The Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Mrs Maneka Gandhi, has congratulated Mr Manohar Lal for successful implementation of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Programme and for introducing Mahila Police Volunteer Scheme. While referring to the figures of National Crime Bureau, Ms Nair said that in 2015, 3.28 lakh cases of crime had been registered as compared to 3.37 lakh cases in the year 2014. She said that though the figure of crime is comparatively less in the year 2015 is less yet it is a fact that there are many cases which are not reported. She said that police played a significant role in ensuring the safety and security of women and added that the Mahila Police Volunteer would work towards creating a safe and secure atmosphere for the women by providing instant information to the police regarding various crimes at public places like eve-teasing, stalking and also about dowry and domestic violence. Additional Chief Secretary, Home Mr Ram Niwas said that the Gram Sakhi would not only work as a link between public and police but also work to eliminate the conservative thinking of people towards women. Director General of Police Mr K. P Singh said that Mahila Police Volunteer Scheme is a scheme of Women and Child Development Department but it would be implemented by the Police Department. He said that Gram Sakhi would also prove instrumental in launching awareness campaign to make women aware of their rights.