New Delhi, Jan 22 ():The government is expected to make available a three-digit emergency helpline number ‘181’ for women across the country, that is likely to be made a national helpline for women of all States, said Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal.
The Telecom Minister will soon be writing to the chief ministers of all states regarding the decision of the ministry to allocate the three digit number ’181′ that will in due course become a national helpline for women.
The State government will have to set call centres, once the emergency number is allocated, said the ministry. Sources from the government stated that the Telecom department will be releasing the number to all the states following which call centres will be made available so that the number becomes functional all over the country.
After the recent brutal gang-rape of a 23-year old paramedic student in New Delhi, the Telecom Ministry in December allotted a three-digit number, 167 as women’s helpline in Delhi.
However, the government decided to change ‘161’ to ‘181’ as the Telecom department felt that the latter number will be much easier to remember for women in the hour of need. Requesting to allot a three-digit phone number, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that this has been the first three-digit number to be allotted for the sake of the distressed women by the ministry in these two years.
This development has come in wake of the Delhi gang rape which created a huge outrage across the country after a 23-year-old girl was raped in a moving bus by six accused and was thrown out of the bus naked on December 16 night.
The first three digit number ’181′ that has been allotted will be easier to recollect for the women in distress and is expected to be in operation soon, said sources from telecom ministry.