Jamshedpur, June 23: Despite the claims of equality and empowerment, women in Jamshedpur are feeling increasingly unsafe and instances of violence against them are on the rise.
However help is at hand.
Following directive from state’s social welfare, women and child development department, the East Singhbhum district administration has selected Red Cross Bhawan in Sakchi for its one-stop centre Sakhi.
District social welfare officer, Ranjana Mishra said they have received a letter earlier this month from the state Social Welfare, Women and Child Development department principal secretary M. S Bhatia for suggesting a site for opening of the one stop centre and they have held talks with Indian Red Cross Society district unit officials for using their building (Red Cross Bhawan) centrally located at Sakchi for the purpose.
Incidentally, the setting up of the one-stop centre is an initiative of the Union government under the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ for women safety pertaining to strategic areas of prevention, protection and rehabilitation and aims to provide all kind of assistance including legal, police, medical help, counseling, temporary support service to women affected by violence.
The centre will start functioning in two-three months as there is ready made infrastructure at the Red Cross Bhawan and victims of rape, dowry harassment, domestic violence and acid attack will not have to wander here and there for treatment, psycho-social counseling and legal advice and case management.
Surprisingly some crimes such as dowry-related deaths and harassment have increased. Moreover, serious offences such as rape and molestation too have shot up drastically.
A senior woman police officer said, “Most laborers living here are alien and are mostly staying alone or with other men. Their families, if any, are back in their hometowns and to fulfill their prurient desires they target women in their area, which leads to increase in cases of rape and molestation.”
Experts blame it on slack police administration which is said to be indifferent to control criminal activities and influx of criminals from outside.
“Failure of police in arresting rape accused and people’s reluctance to file FIR regarding rape are some of the factors behind rising molestation cases,” said Alpna Chakravarty, an activist working for NGO.
A police officer said that crime cannot be controlled till there is a change in human consciousness. However, police are trying to give exemplary punishment to criminals.
“We need to hold discussions in high schools and colleges, in forums where films are screened and discussed, where good films are juxtaposed with stupid ones and students taught to be discriminating.
We need to have women police arrest men who harass women.
We need to have local newspapers and TV channels highlight abuse, to be watchdogs so that the men who perpetrate sexual crimes do not do so with impunity,” said the social worker.