The countrywide lockdown owing to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic has witnessed increased distress calls at the women’s helpline number and complaints with the National Commission for Women (NCW). The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has expressed concern over the rising cases of domestic violence against women and the women activists belonging to this organisation have started a helpline service for such victims. “The number 817-817-1234 has been issued for this helpline. At this number, women can ask for help as well as counselling,” said a senior RSS functionary. This helpline aims to connect a large number of women across various professions with Sangh volunteers in order to resolve their domestic disputes. It also aims at creating a network of women doctors, advocates, academicians and Sangh volunteers, reminded the functionary.
The helpline specifically aims to target the most vulnerable of groups comprising of unskilled labourers, migrant workers, women whose husbands have lost their employment and those forced to work outside despite lockdown. Advocate Pratima Lakhra, who is associated with the association, says: “Our aim is to guide the troubled women in lockdown and provide them with proper legal and medical facilities to help them.” A total of 315 complaints of domestic violence received by the NCW in April, when the country was under a lockdown due to Covid-19.