Women's helpline number 181 in Delhi fails to take off

Crime against woman

A helpline for women set up with great fanfare by beleaguered Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit through advertisement in newspapers in the morning itself appeared to be "helpless" as it was not working.

Calls to the number were greeted by a long beep sound.

Dikshit had last week announced launch of the round-the-clock helpline for offering help to women in distress amid nationwide uproar over the December 16 brutal gangrape of the 23-year-old here. The girl had breathed her last on Saturday in a Singapore hospital.

Senior Delhi government officials said the helpline could not be made functional due to some glitches in the MTNL network.

They said the helpline, which will operate from the chief minister's office in Delhi Secretariat, can be contacted from landlines as well as mobile phones.

The Telecom Ministry had last week released the three-digit number following a request by Dikshit. It will be the first three-digit number to have been allotted by the Ministry in two years.

The Ministry had earlier allotted '167' for the helpline but upon request for a number that would be easier to remember, the number was changed to '181'.

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