To keep the safety of women in mind and to reduce the crime against women across the state, the Maharashtra government has decided to open offices at the divisional level where they (women) can register a complaint with the help of respective police officers. Many a time due to technical reasons or family problems the crimes don’t even get reported.
Perhaps the state government has decided to open more centers where women can register their complaints. As of now, there is only one office in Mumbai which handles all such complaints (Atrocities against women) and forwards instructions to the respective divisional office after submitting a review, and according to the authority, it is a time-consuming process which is why the government has, came with this initiate.
Besides, Mumbai the government is planning to set up the division offices in Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Konkan, Nashik and Amravati. This comes after when Maharashtra’s Women and child development minister Yashomati Thakur on Wednesday said that the division will have four members of the women’s commission who will handle such cases, which would ensure speedy justice. Also, this step would be helpful for these women to get justice.
Initially, the government will start offices at the divisional level and later on they will start such offices at the district level as well. Afternoon Voice newspaper spoke to several women to share their opinion about opening more divisional office in the state for the safety of women, here are what they have to say!
Neeti Goel, Famous Restauranteur/philanthropist and co-founder “Khaana Chaiye” and “Ghar Bhejo” with actor Sonu Sood (started by Actor Sonu Sood) said, “An overbearing concern each of us has about women in our families has lent a sense of urgency for a dialogue on the critical and pressing issue of women’s safety. The opening up of 6 divisional offices in the state where women can register their grievances is a much-needed change and comes as a huge relief to know that this issue is now being addressed. Hopefully, with this positive change, the whole process of registering a complaint to getting relief will be fast-tracked and the crime against women could be reduced to a significant extent.”
Shweta Singh, a Senior PR from Mumbai said, “I think it’s a step in the right direction because women’s safety has been an issue that doesn’t always get tackled the right way. The crimes don’t even get reported most times for numerous reasons and women feel shame by virtue of how they’ve been raised, or by unsupportive systems that surround them. It was horrifying for me when I read about the Bombay HC verdict that said groping a minor’s breast without “skin to skin contact” cannot be termed as sexual assault as defined under POCSO Act. I’m sure all women know and relate to the fears and shock that come as a reaction to that verdict.
Singh further continued stating, “I hope that opening 6 divisional offices (in the state where woman can register their complaints on crimes against them) also means people are going to empathies more with victims and not invalidate their experiences, shame them and even degrade them. I also hope women across the state and country for that matter find the courage to report crimes and not let their assailants roam free.”
An Advocate from Bombay high court, Kiran Mishra said, “A step been initiated by Smt. Yashomati Thakur for setup of six divisions for women’s commission in state is helpful for the women in the rural areas who are unable to travel to Mumbai being it the only Divisional Office where the complaint is lodged but there is a need for time frame within which the complaint shall be disposed of. There is a need for the commission to be setup in all districts in order to curb the burden on the commission solely. Furthermore, there should be various campaigns, workshops in the rural areas to educate the women about their rights and the appropriate authority to be approached in case of violation if any. There is a need for an NGO in every rural district whereby the aggrieved woman can consult for help without any hesitation and she shall be helped with all means of legal aid.”
Sanika Choudhari , a law student from Chembur said, “Yes, there should open a divisional office in the state where women can register their complaints. During the crimes, people often forget that they cannot take law into their own hands. India is a civilized country where people believe in rule of law. We fully believe in the ability of the courts to make sure justice is being served to the people who have been wrong. Reducing crime against women is need of the hour and I think it’s the best decision by the government”
Twinkle Dedhia, a digital content producer and media analyst said, “Empowering women isn’t just a politically correct caption or subject matter for a potentially viral reel on Instagram. It’s a constant action in motion in real life where the disadvantages of patriarchy or male privileges are still prevalent. Although feminism isn’t a stick to beat men with or to seek revenge of the injustice perpetuated by probably the deceased men conditioned subconsciously by our society itself, it certainly is a shout out for equality in terms of consideration, wage and safety. So don’t strip the country of progression by creating an atmosphere that’s not conducive for the security and development of women and our upcoming generation. Though women aren’t as suppressed as they used to be, we still have miles to go to make it feel like a safe place. In my opinion, freedom is just an illusion where women and children feel defenseless so let’s learn from the past and support to make the world a better place for everyone involved in it. Hope this venture truly serves justice, supports and enforces our society to thrive in the best direction.”
Simone Chhabda, Media Relations Consultant from Mumbai told Afternoon voice, “In spite of all problems, measures should be taken to ensure safety and security for women and children at any cost. With that being said, this is a thoughtful initiative by the Women and Child Development Minister of Maharashtra to decide to open 6 divisional offices in the city. It’s time we take accountable actions on crimes committed not only towards Women and children but all the people of the country. With this and many more collective initiatives, we will be able to look upon stringent punishment that will help in reducing the number of crimes in the city as well as the country.”
Annies Minu, a college professor said, “Opening divisional office is great, but will 6 be enough for a state? Rather there should be sub-divisions that run under the 6 divisions, also women don’t open up easily, they know they won’t win if the accuse is rich/has influences, so I think women’s should be made aware and encouraged to make use of these divisional offices and not give up. As this would work only if there would be right justice and not influences.”
Doctor Bhakti M Vanjara said, “Every day we come through the news of crime against women like rape, dowry death, domestic violence, etc. Sometimes many cases are not even registered by a woman and her family, because of the pressure of society or they don’t believe in getting justice. Firstly, every woman should stay strong to make complaints and ask for justice. The government and authority should give justice as soon as possible without being biased. I am glad that the government is coming up with such an initiative for the safety of women.”
According to National Crime Record Bureau’s (NCRB) ‘Crime in India Report 2019’ Maharashtra reported the highest number of rape with murder incidents across the country. The cases of crime against women registered in the state are on the rise. The total cases of crime against women in 2019 were 37,567, while 35,497 were filed in 2018 and 31,997 in 2017. Though Uttar Pradesh (59,853) has the highest number of crime against women cases but Maharashtra (37,144) ranks third after Rajasthan (41,550).