TNN | Oct 3, 2012, 01.15AM IST

 JAIPUR: A helpline meant to help women in distress, is now functional across the state. In a unique initiative, the Rajasthan State Women’s Commission has started a helpline number where female victims can call and speak to the experts in various fields ranging from law, sociology and psychotherapy for counseling.

The service was started with an aim to protect women’s rights in the state and ensure justice for victims.

Commission’s chairperson Ladkumari Jain told TOI that the helpline was introduced early in September. “As of now, we have a regular seven-digit landline number-0141-2744596. We will soon get a four-digit toll free number,” said Jain.

Jain added the helpline service is open 24 hours and seven days a week. “We have appointed counsellors who are experts in various fields including law, sociology and psychotherapy. These counsellors work in shifts and are available even during the night hours,” she said.

To know more, TOI called the helpline number, where a counselor Santosh Sharma said the service is becoming a real-time solution to problems faced by women in the state.

“We get calls even from rape victims, following which we immediately take action. If a woman is a victim of domestic violence, we speak with her husband and family members. If the issue can not be resolved by talking, we even advise the women to take the legal course. Women can also register complaints if the police or other authorities fail to respond to their complaints,” Sharma said.

The chairperson also said the victims often hesitate to approach the police and other law enforcement agencies fearing it might boomerang. “In most cases, they don’t get proper response also. Besides, they have to go through several legal formalities. But the helpline provides swift solutions to their problems,” said Jain.

She added that woman can also seek assistance on how to register their complaints on the helpline, “We take cognizance of the women’s complaints and initiate action on our own,” said Jain.

However, the helpline service is getting a lukewarm response even a month after its launch because most people are unaware of its existence. Counselors are getting only 3-4 calls every day. spread awareness regarding the number

“We are waiting for the four-digit toll-free number which will be introduced within a few days. We will popularise the service after that,” said Jain.

Service at a glance

– Helpline number – 0141-2744596

– Four-digit toll free number in the offing

– The service is available 24×7

– Access to various experts from fields like law, sociology and psychotherapy