Mahila Police Volunteer Initiative launched in Haryana – New scheme for safety of women

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The Mahila Police Volunteer initiative was launched in Haryana today. By launching the initiative in Karnal and Mahendragarh districts, Haryana became the first state to adopt this scheme. Originally conceived by the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development, Mahila Police Volunteer is a joint initiative with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Haryana today inducted the first batch of 1000 Mahila Police Volunteers. These volunteers have already been trained by the state State Police Authorities on their role and responsibility.

The Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in her message for the launch event has said, “The Ministry of Women and Child Development has undertaken a large number of initiatives for creating a safe and enabling environment for women in India. The Mahila Police Volunteers scheme is one such initiative. It envisages creation of a link between the police authorities and the local communities in villages through police volunteers who will be women specially trained for this purpose. We expect to have at least one such volunteer in every village whose primary job will be to keep an eye on situations where women in the village are harassed or their rights and entitlements are denied or their development is prevented.

I am happy to see that Haryana has once again taken a lead in adopting a women-oriented scheme of my Ministry. I congratulate Hon’ble Chief Minister for this. Due to my pre-occupation with some urgent work in Pilibhit, I am unable to be present for the function today. However, I am confident that under the leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Haryana, this programme will get expanded to all districts of the State. We are in touch with all other State Governments also and soon we will be rolling out this scheme in the rest of the country.”

Launching the initiative, the Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal Khattar said that the age-old concept of women empowerment is finally taking shape as words are being put into action. Doubts were raised over the implementation of women empowerment in Haryana but the state took it up as a challenge, the Chief Minister explained. Highlighting the success of Beti bachao Beti Padhao scheme, Shri Khattar said that Sex ratio, which used to be around 850, has reached 900 in the last 12 months and Khap Panchayats have also extended their help in this effort. Shro Khattar disclosed that education is a pivotal aspect in empowerment and hence we have decided to set up women’s colleges in every 20 km.

The gap between Police and Civil society will be bridged by Mahila Police Volunteers initiative. Women volunteers should consider the initiative as a voluntary service, Mr. Khattar added. 33% participation of women in police force will be implemented in a phased manner. We are trying hard to achieve 10% in the near future, the Chief Minister said.

Secretary WCD, Ms Leena Nair was also present at the launch of initiative. Explaining the initiatives of the Ministry, Ms Nair said that the Government is making all out efforts to create an environment in which every woman feels safe.

Speaking on the occasion, Director General, Police, Haryana Dr K P Singh said that Haryana is constantly striving to increase participation of women in police force so as to achieve the target of 33%.

An oath was also administered to the freshly inducted Mahila Police Volunteers at today’s event in which they pledged to work for the rights and welfare of women.

In order to realize the goal of gender equality, Government of India has undertaken several initiatives for holistic empowerment of women. The Government of India is extremely concerned with regard to safety and security of women and treats it with “zero tolerance”. The WCD Ministry has been prioritizing issues related to the safety of women at the highest level with a holistic approach with a view to balance both preventive & curative aspects, proper & effective implementation of various laws and provisions available for safety of girls/women. However, it is a matter of common knowledge that women who are victims of violence or harassment may not find it easy to approach the police or other authorities for getting help or support. It was, therefore, desirable to provide an effective alternative for getting help and support.

To supplement the ongoing efforts towards gender equality, the Mahila Police Volunteer Initiative was envisaged in collaboration with Ministry of Home Affairs to facilitate Police force through community volunteerism. Police plays an important role in safety and security of citizens in general and women in particular. In order to provide a link between police and community and facilitate women in distress, one Mahila Police Volunteer (MPV) is envisaged per Gram Panchayat across the country. These will be selected through a laid out procedure from among the empowered, responsible, socially aware women who will facilitate police outreach on gender concerns.

The guidelines for operationalizing of MPVs were finalized in consultation with BPR&D, MHA and have been made available on the Ministry’s website. The Chief Secretaries/UT Administrators have been requested by the WCD Ministry to adopt the scheme in their respective States/UTs. Further, an advisory has also been issued by MHA to States and UTs to exhort the State Home Departments to adopt this. WCD Ministry has developed a Handbook for training of MPVS in Hindi as well as English which can be customized by States/UTs as per their specific requirements.

Press Note Released by Press Information Bureau Government of India Ministry of Women and Child Development


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