Strengthen and Publicize the Women’s Helpline 112

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It could have been any of us. What happened to the 27-year-old veterinary doctor in Hyderabad could have happened to any woman in India. And it has made many of us wonder what we would have done if we had been in her shoes.

A minister who appeared on the news said, the 27-year-old doctor could have been saved if she had called a helpline instead of calling her family.

So, a reporter in Hyderabad, the city where this ghastly crime took place, tried calling India’s much-publicized all-in-one emergency helpline number 112. She tried calling the helpline from 4 different numbers between 2 and 7 pm and received one standard response: the number you have called is currently busy.

Imagine hearing that recorded message when you call 112 as you fear for your life. In her last message to her sister, the doctor said she was scared. Imagine how she would have felt if she had called a helpline and not received support.

The people managing 112 told the Times of India that on some days they have only 8 people to answer calls. They get 7 lakh calls for help everyday and can only attend to 40,000, which means 95% of people calling for help are left abandoned.

This is highly unacceptable, and we want the government to make sure the 112 helpline is well staffed to promptly respond to every call at all times.

Sign this petition asking the Narendra Modi government to strengthen the 112 helpline and to staff it adequately.

We want the government to make this a top priority. As official data shows that most states in India have not utilized the Nirbhaya Fund which is meant for women’s safety projects, the government should make sure that states are using these funds to strengthen the helplines.

They should also spend taxpayer’s money on spreading public awareness as most people don’t even know about 112. Ads about 112 on billboards and hoardings, on TVs, radio and in cinema halls before film screenings will make sure every Indian knows that when they’re in trouble, there is someone to help them.

Please sign this petition to make India safer for women. #Rescue112