The DCW had decided to shut down its women helpline 181, rape crisis cell, among other programmes, citing non-payment of salaries to its staff for two months
GN Bureau | December 29, 2016
It seems that the worst is over for the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) employees, at least for a while. The commission that had decided to shut their helplines due to non-payment of salaries will continue its services after receiving the salaries of two months.
The DCW had decided to shut down its women helpline 181, rape crisis cell and mobile helpline, among other programmes, citing non-payment of salaries to its staff for two months. Taking a humanitarian view, the Delhi high court on last Thursday ordered release of 50 percent salary arrears of contractual employees of DCW including acid attack victims that look after the rape crisis cell of the women commission. Out of the 62 employees without salary for past four months are women who have been victims of acid attack and they don't have any other means of subsistence.
“The Delhi high court has taken a good decision and it is a relief to the DCW employees. December was the last month for the DCW employees to continue work, after that, the services and helplines would have stopped due to non-payment of salaries,” said DCW chief Swati Maliwal.
The ruckus over the salaries took place after the LG appointment member secretary Alka Diwan refused to release two months’ salary to DCW staff. Questioning Diwan’s appointment in a statement released by the commission few months ago, DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal had alleged that newly appointed member secretary Alka Diwan “refused to release two months’ salary to the contractual staff”.
Maliwal says that most of the employees of DCW are cancer survivors, orphans and acid attack victims. “Most of them have no other source of livelihood. Things had turn from bad to worse in the last two months. We welcome this decision by the court.”
According to the officials in DCW, the commission dealt with almost 11,696 complaints in last one year and handled 3.15 lakh calls through its 181 women’s helpline in the past six months. Around 1,869 sexual assault cases were dealt by crisis intervention centre counsellors, while 5,733 cases have been dealt by the rape crisis cell lawyers in courts.
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