Global star Priyanka Chopra lauded the significance of the 1090 Women Power Line during a recent UNICEF field trip to Uttar Pradesh.
Priyanka visited the control room of a 24/7 phone line for women to freely register complaints of any form of atrocities and sexual harassment.
Taking to Instagram, she shared a video from her meeting with police officers in Uttar Pradesh. In the clip, she is seen addressing fears of stepping out of the state post 7 pm.
“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 7 pm,” Priyanka said.
The woman police officer is then seen 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 to 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.
Police officers also talked about how digitisation has helped them in fighting crime. “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,” Priyanka asked.
To this, the officer said, “Definitely. 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.”
Alongside the clip, Priyanka penned a caption and shared her experience visiting the control room, explaining the benefits of the helpline.
“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, every day. There is a lot of work that needs to be done and that begins with the most basic… protection by law and order/police. I had the opportunity to visit the 1090 Women 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,” she wrote.
She added, “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. In India, violence against women and children is widespread, yet too many women and children aren’t reporting it, because of the fear of bias and corruption. But hopefully, with helplines like this, they can and they should. 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.”