In past month, only one call made to women’s helpline

Even after stringent efforts made by UT Police to create awareness about women's 100 helpline number in case of a late night emergency, the facility — which has been in operation for more than a month — received just one call from a woman asking for help and she was not a resident of Chandigarh.

It turns out that working girls and women would much rather call a friend or a radio cab to take them home.

When asked an IT Professional, Neha Saini, who works in Panchkula and lives in Sector 34, Chandigarh, if she ever thought of calling the PCR she said, "Whenever I get late from work, I prefer calling up a friend to pick me up. I do not feel comfortable in calling the police. I do not trust the police for my safety at night.

Jasmine Kaur, a resident of Sector 15, who works in the Rajiv Gandhi IT Park said, "I call a radio cab whenever I am late. I know about this new service by the police for dropping women home, but I would not want to be returning in a PCR vehicle. Also, the thought of calling the police is scary".

On December 25 last year, the Police Control Room received its first call at 1 am by a Sports teacher, Vidya Shirodkar, who had come with five of her students from Mumbai to participate in a sports event in Punjab University. As she was stranded in the middle of the night and was not able to find a mode of conveyance, she was advised by a group of boys to call 100 for help.

On December 19, the UT SSP Naunihal Singh had briefed the PCR policemen on night duty to help women who are stranded in late hours. He had asked the PCR personnel to help the women as he did not want what happened in Delhi to be repeated.

On December 20, the UT police had formally announced that women can call on 100 in case of an odd situation in wee hours. However, even after many campaigns, the efforts made by the police have gone in vain.

A senior police officials said, "The service is just to ensure the security cover for women. If the need demands the PCR can also drop the women home."

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