police assistance, legal aid, and medical and counselling services – are made available to female victims of violence.
Sakhi, a one stop centre (OSC) for sexual and physical violence-affected women was opened at College Road in Hailakandi town on Saturday.
The OSC is being set up by the Hailakandi district administration and social welfare department in collaboration with Wodwichee, an NGO, to provide sexual and physical violence affected women with temporary shelter, guidance on procedure of registering complaints, and medical, legal and psychological assistance.
Presiding over the function, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Amalendu Roy said the one stop centre is supposed to be a place where integrated services – police assistance, legal aid, and medical and counselling services – are made available to female victims of violence. A toll free number 181 is being made available to the women in distress.
Speaking on the occasion, secretary, Wodwichee, Kobir Ahmed said the OSC could fill a critical need for support services for survivors of rape and other forms of violence against women and girls. “The OSC can also serve as an educational resource for healthcare workers, police, lawyers, and judges, ” he added.
The OSCs were prioritised under the Nirbhaya Fund set up by the central government in 2013, after the public protests following the gang rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi in 2012, and long-held demands by women’s rights groups.
In order to fight against the prevailing issues related to gender-based violence, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MCD) formulated a centrally sponsored scheme for setting up OSCs. This is a sub-scheme of Umbrella Scheme for National Mission for Empowerment of Women, including Indira Gandhi Mattritav Sahyaog Yojana. The scheme was implemented on April 1, 2015 and is popularly known as Sakhi. Around 234 OSCs have been established across the country to provide integrated support and assistance under one roof to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces in a phased manner.