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Delhi Rape - Emergency helpline that didn't help!

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The script of non-functional systems, morals is once again at the fore. Once again it is same story. Helplines, laws encouraging citizens to lend help to victims exists only on paper. The late "Amanat" could have better chances had the '100' number worked they way it should, someone from onlooking public had taken her to nearest hospital little earlier. She could have reached hospital earlier, if police system in our country has more humane SOPs in such scenarios without having to fight over jurisdiction. Here is an account of late Amanat's friend, as reported in media (Source - Rediff)

"...From where we boarded the bus, they moved around for nearly two and a half hours. We were shouting, trying to make people hear us. But they switched the lights of the bus off. We tried to resist them. Even my friend fought with them, she tried to save me. She tried to dial the police control room no.100, but the accused snatched her mobile away," the male friend said..." 

"...Recounting the sequence of events on that fateful night, he said, "After throwing us off the bus, they tried to mow us down but I saved my friend by pulling her away in the nick of time. We were without clothes. We tried to stop passers by. Several auto rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but no one stopped for about 25 minutes. Then, someone on patrolling stopped and called the police," he said..."

"...Contradicting the police claims that they acted swiftly after being informed, he said three Police Control Room vans arrived at the scene only after about 45 minutes and wasted time in deciding under which police station's jurisdiction the case fell..."

"...The youth claimed that nobody, including the police, gave them clothes or called an ambulance. "They were just watching us," he said, adding that after repeated requests, some gave him a part of a bed sheet to cover the girl.

He rued that no one from the public came forward to help. People were probably afraid that if they helped us, they would become witnesses to the crime and would be asked to come to police stations and courts, he said..."


A lot is being said and written about punishment, amending laws, lowering juvenile age, more help lines etc, but in the charged up moments, seems we are glossing over an important lifeline system that needs a fix - Unified Emergency Response System.

Isn't time to fix the system if it is not working? Isn't time to institute a working emergency response system across the country?


murali772's picture

108 - perhaps the answer

113 users have liked.

Doesn't the answer simply lie in outsourcing the job to a professionally run, time-tested, PPP set-up like the EMRI, which operates the "Number 1-0-8: single integrated number for medical, police and fire emergencies" service (check here for more)?

Muralidhar Rao
kbsyed61's picture

It's no different in Bengaluru!

122 users have liked.

Source - The Hindu

"...The women’s helpline number, 1091, launched here with much fanfare on Thursday, seems to be facing technical glitches and  Home Minister R. Ashok’s hard sell about police rushing to rescue women in distress rings hollow. .."

"...When The Hindu team visited some of the crowded places in the city over two days and spotted instances of sexual harassment, it called the helpline number, which invariably remained busy for more than 15 minutes. Moreover, the police did not turn up at the spot for even half an hour after the complaint was finally made..."

murali772's picture

ineffective govt-run emergency response systems

132 users have liked.

I informed 100 that the driver of the auto-rickshaw with the registration number 'DL 1RM 9979' had abused us, and on protesting, had taken our pictures and threatened us with dire consequences. The voice at the other end gave me another number - 27854799 - and said that the area I was in came under the jurisdiction of the police who would attend to my call.

- - - I tried calling up this number several times but the line kept on beeping. I tried the women's helpline, 181, but it went on ringing.

- - - When I called 100 once again, a lady told me that the police coming under the Badli Mor jurisdiction could take any action in this case.

- - - I made another call to 181. This is the response I got: "Go to the Delhi Police website, to the transport section, and first file a complaint there." The person who answered the call didn't bother to ask me any further details, let alone ask for the registration number of the auto-rickshaw.

- - - I know I live in a very unsafe city.

For the full report in the ToI, click here

It is not just Delhi that's unsafe. The situation is more or less the same across the country, including in the so-called tech capital, Bangalore. And, all of these have to happen even as we have a professionally run, time-tested, PPP set-up like the EMRI, which operates the "Number 1-0-8: single integrated number for medical, police and fire emergencies" service - click here for more:

Shouldn't the answer then simply be to outsource the function to EMRI, across the country? They can be expected to be far more accountable than the confusing array government-run services, to which unfortunately more are now being added.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

tells its own tale

121 users have liked.

On January 3rd, Karnataka Home Minister R Ashoka inaugurated the 24X7 helpline ‘1091' for women. Though the helpline is based in Bangalore, women from all over the state can call the number. While Bangalore callers can get help immediately, callers from other districts are given counselling and contact numbers of their local police stations and NGOs.

- - -But within two days, media reports emerged quickly that women who tried the system complained of poor response. Citizen Matters tried calling ‘1091' twice, both times the call went to the child helpline instead. Moral of the story: setting up and making announcements is easy. Making the back-end work is the hard part.

For the full report in the Citizen Matters, click here

Tells its own tale, doesn't it? Isn't it time the Home Ministers of this world got down to doing some serious work, instead of using the Nirbhaya type incidents to gain some cheap publicity mileage?

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

1091 hoax

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The 1091 helpline in-charge, Rani Shetty said, “ It was a second Saturday and we wrap up early on holidays. After 2 pm, all the calls are diverted to the control room. I am surprised that no one answered the calls in the control room. This is not the case usually.” She further added that on working days, calls are diverted to the control room after 5 pm. “We also cannot work till late night here. I am not a police officer,” she huffed.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here

So, essentially, what it means is that women should ensure that they get into situations, where they may require help, only between working hours on working days.

Well, apparently, the powers that be exploited the crisis to provide employment to a favoured few - women's security be damned

Muralidhar Rao
MaheshK's picture

stick to 108

172 users have liked.

As Murali sir pointed out, 108 should be the number rather than having another number that has its own limitations. I was not aware that there was a new number for these situations. In the end the cops have to come quick. Let it be 1-0-8. comment guidelines

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