New Delhi, Nov 4: A proposal has been mooted to set up Anti-Human-Trafficking-Units (AHTUs) at a cost of Rs 100 crore for the safety and security of women with proper monitoring and reporting mechanism to be put in place.
The proposal, cleared by the Empowered Committee (EC) under Nirbhaya Framework, chaired by Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, also favours the Central Government should bear 100 per cent cost of setting up of these AHTUs under Nirbhaya Fund as per the Ministry of Home Affairs proposal.
According to official sources, the Empowered Committee, which met on October 22, 2019, favourably appraised two proposals to develop systems for operationalisation of Women Help Desks (WHDs) in police stations, for expansion of AHTUs to all districts manned by identified officers for dealing with crime and policing matters pertaining to women and children at district and States/UT levels across the country.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development pursued the matter with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which submitted proposals for WHDs in 10,000 police stations and for AHTUs in the remaining districts of India, for funding out of Nirbhaya Fund at a cost of Rs 100 crore each.
The EC has also suggested that psycho-social counselling and legal counselling and aid should be made available through these AHTUs to the beneficiaries. The MHA has also been requested to ensure nomination of State level nodal officers for coordinating and monitoring the functioning of AHTUs and sharing their data with the EC and the Ministry of WCD.
Regarding setting up/strengthening Women Help Desks (WHDs) in police stations in all States & UTs, the EC recommended setting up up of these Women Help Desks in Police Stations in all states and UTs at a cost of Rs 100 crore to be funded by the Centre under the Nirbhaya Fund. These Help Desks would be gender sensitive for grievance redressal of women through the policing system, as well as catalysts for improved community interaction of the police with focus on crime against women and children.
The sources said they would also help create a conducive atmosphere for distressed women and girls to approach the police stations without any hesitation and fear. The EC has suggested that these Women Help Desks should preferably be headed by women police officers not below the rank of Head Constables, and preferably by women officers not below the ranks of JSI or ASI.
Further, training, orientation and sensitisation of both men and women police officials working at or in relation to WHDs at police stations, should also be taken up. At present, as per the proposal of MHA, the Help Desks have been approved for 10,000 police stations. However, the EC has suggested that the facility may be expanded to all the police stations in the country may be over a period of time or in phases. MHA has also been requested to ask the States and UTs to notify Nodal Officers at District and State levels as early as possible to coordinate the functioning of the Women Help Desks and share the data with EC, the sources said. (UNI)