Dr Liladhar Bhatt Memorial Kalyan Samiti (DLBMKS) on Thursday, 24 November, launched hotlines to support women and girls who are victims of violence and sexual exploitation.
The helpline numbers for the women of Uttarakhand have been launched under 'Project Nidhi', and come at a time when we are observing the 42nd International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The toll-free helpline numbers are: 18001804039, 05946-297101
The DLBMKS's initiative aims to provide immediate help to women in the hill state who have suffered sexual abuse or violence at their homes or workplaces, assisting them in securing justice.
'Working On Bridging Gap Between Victim& Police'
"Most people don't approach the police. So now, they can talk to us instead. We work with the police, and will become the bridge between the victim and the police. We will help the girls without disclosing their identities," DLBMKS Founder Raj Bhatt told The Quint.
Bhatt shared that a particular incident this year had moved him to initiate the helplines:
"A lot of the girls from Uttarakhand who are part of the NGO study in colleges in Delhi. When I met them in Delhi in August, one of the girls, who is 19 or 20 now, shared with me how she had been molested by her uncle when she was 12. That was a painful moment for me. The girl is from Uttarakhand, and like my own daughter."
"The next day, I called the DGP of Uttarakhand and asked for his assistance. Collaborating with a young police officer and psychologists, we set up this system," he noted.
In Addition to Legal Help, Project Nidhi To Provide Counselling to Complainants
In additional to assisting the victims in reporting their case to the police, Project Nidhi will offer relief to the complainants by helping them adjust mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially.
"A lot of girls and young women, who face incidents of sexual harassment and stalking, are not able to share their experiences. We have a team of clinical psychologists and counselling psychologists who will provide them with the help they need. Our purpose is to assist the women however they ask us to help them," counselling psychologist Ankita Pant, who is part of Project Nidhi, told The Quint.
The NGO has also joined forces with the district administration and its resources in order to foster a broader impact.
The welfare organisation's efforts have received appreciation from the government of Uttarakhand. Governor of Uttarakhand Lieutenant General Gurmit Singh wrote about Project Nidhi on Twitter, sharing the helplines numbers being launched.