Women, children and senior citizens in Punjab can now simply call up `181’ to report any case of crime, harassment or domestic violence with complete ease, with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh launching his government’s unique SAANJH Shakti initiative.The Chief Minister had on Monday virtually launched Punjab Police’s SAANJH Shakti Help Desks in all the 382 Police Stations of the state and SAANJH Shakti Helpline ‘181’, exclusively for Women, Children and Senior Citizens, as part of a slew of initiatives to mark the International Women’s Day.These initiatives will help women, children and senior citizens in sharing their concerns and grievances with the police in a confidential and conducive environment, said the Chief Minister, lauding the Punjab Police, led by DGP Dinkar Gupta, for the exemplary project to empower and protect the vulnerable sections of the society. DGP Gupta later said that of the total 382 helpdesks, 266 are functioning from SAANJH Kendras— separate standalone buildings located in close vicinity to the Police Stations, while the remaining 116 help desks have been set up in the Police Stations as SAANJH Kendra buildings have not been constructed so far.
The SAANJH Kendras have also got new design and furnishing to provide visitors comfortable seating and privacy, while they interact with Punjab Police Mahila Mittar (PPMM) or Woman Police Friend posted in these centres to assist the women, children and senior citizens in dealing with their complaints, recording their statements and preparing the action taken reports.Each Helpdesk will have two women PPMMs, who will get the statement recorded and provide a Unique Identification Number to the complainant for reference. Every complaint will be monitored by ADGP Community Affairs Division and Women & Child Affairs, and the complainants will also be provided with the facility to track the progress of their complaints.Giving details of the ‘181’ helpline, the DGP said it will be linked with all the help desks for providing dignified access to support services and legal action. Besides reporting domestic violence, eve teasing or harassment etc to the police on this helpline, the complainant can also report cybercrime, including morphing of pictures, creation of fake profiles of women, or cyber stalking and other forms of harassment on social media, internet or email, which cases will be referred to the State Cyber Crime cell for further investigation.The DGP said the police officials stationed at 181 helpline will call up offenders and warn them of legal consequences, and if such harassment does not stop, legal action shall be initiated after feedback from the complainant. The calls will be heard by predominantly by women operators trained in soft skills and the identity of the caller will be kept confidential. People can also give tip-offs on drug smuggling/peddling on this helpline, he added.Gupta reiterated the commitment of the Punjab Police to ensure a conducive environment for women, children and senior citizens so that they won’t hesitate to report any crime.