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November 26, 2022

Source: hindustantimes.com

Priyanka Chopra shared a video to show how a helpline in Uttar Pradesh was helping women register complaints of any form of violence and sexual harassment. She also expressed her opinion on the fear women face in UP.

Priyanka Chopra was in Uttar Pradesh (UP) on a UNICEF field trip. The actor, who is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, recently stepped out in Lucknow to see the work being done to improve children’s education, and their access to health, nutrition, and safety measures. Apart from visiting classrooms at a school, Priyanka Chopra also visited the control room of a 24/7 phone line for women to freely register complaints of any form of atrocities and sexual harassment. She shared a long note about the 1090 Woman Power Line (WPL) that seeks to help women and children in UP.

At the start of the video Priyanka shared on Instagram on Thursday, the actor told an officer from UP Police, “Tell me something, in a state like Uttar Pradesh (UP)… I have also grown up in Lucknow… there’s a fear that exists, especially post 7pm.” The police officer is then seeing telling the actor, “I will show you the data,” as they walk inside a room to show the functioning of a ‘call tracking unit’, run by an outsourced department. “They are not police… Because we want it should be a neutral person. Police could maybe hide the matter, so we want to bring that neutrality. They (call tracking team) are trained, they are all certified, they work around the clock,” said the officer, who was showing Priyanka around.

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When the actor asked the officer, “But do you feel that after digitisation, policing has become a bit easier in a state like UP especially, where girls used to be really scared and violence against women is very high…” the officer responded, “Definitely.” She added, “Technology alone is not the solution. Manual policing alone is not the solution. When we gel the two, this is a deadly mix.”

Another UP Police officer chimed in, “Let me give you the data. Without digitisation, the average response time used to be 35-40 minutes. After digitisation and technology, (thanks to) helplines, the response time is just nine minutes.” The lady officer added as she showed Priyanka a pink house (safe police station for women) for women, “For any victim coming in, she also feels comfortable. This is her own place, safe space. She can come here and confide in anything she wants. She can be fearless here, unlike in a police station.”

Sharing the video of her visit, Priyanka wrote in the caption of her Instagram Reels, “The safety and security of women is an urgent need. We hear many stories from across India of violence and harassment against women and girls, everyday. There is a lot of work that needs to be done and that begins with the most basic… protection by law and order / police.

Priyanka continued, “I had the opportunity to visit the 1090 Woman Power Line (WPL)’, Uttar Pradesh’s 24/7 phone line for women to freely register complaints of any form of atrocities and sexual harassment. I met Ms. Neera Rawat (IPS, Additional Director General of Women and Child Security Organisation, UP Police) who is at the helm of Women and Child Security Organisation, UP Police in Lucknow under which this initiative is based.”

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Further elaborating about the helpline, Priyanka wrote, “The WPL has 154 offices in UP with a 24 hour service. Through the 1090 helpline, the police, as the first responder to any violence, have designed interventions which are victim-centric and with an intent to prevent the violence. The WPL utilises technology to its fullest to be able to respond and protect with speed, ensuring there is accountability for every call. From eve-teasing and stalking to cases of sexual harassment and domestic violence etc, the teams are trained to respond keeping the callers protection at the forefront.”

The actor also spoke about how in India, violence against women and children was widespread, yet too many women and children were not reporting it because of the fear of bias and corruption. Priyanka said she hoped that with helplines like these they can. “There is a lot more that needs to be done for the protection of women but initiatives like these are a great start and if implemented effectively, can be the answer to curb and end violence and ensure safety,” Priyanka concluded in her post.

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