Women Power Line

Women Help Power Line

Women Help Power Line

Women Power Line (WPL) is Uttar Pradesh Police's answer to a very inimical problem plaguing the Indian society: sexual harassment, and at its roots misogyny shrouded in the patriarchal mindset of our society.

Research input

The roots of widespread crime against women lie deep in our society. In Indian society most girls grow up listening to these two common words "IGNORE" & "TOLERATE". The young girls are repeatedly taught and trained not to raise their voice against wrongs whatsoever they are. In a way these girls are regimented for many long years to first ignore and then tolerate. In fact our society systematically kills their resistance to wrong doings and she starts tolerating. She tolerates simple teasing, then serious harassment, groping, stalking, vulgar comments. When she joins work place again she tolerates, and when she gets married again she is subjected to humiliating domestic violence. And this helplessness stems from women's lack of readiness to raise their voices — largely on account of an apathetic attitude of authorities towards such crimes. This encourages heinous crimes such as acid attacks, dowry deaths, suicides, rapes, etc. The data from NCRB corroborates the findings as 92% heinous offences against women do take place in home by someone known.

So if we have to make a society where women have self respect and dignity we will have to devise a methodology where we teach & train our young girls to speak up, and not to tolerate slightest of non-sense, to bring "Zero Tolerance" against Crime against Women. For this these young girls will have to speak up loud and raise concerns. But big question remains, who would listen?

WPL-1090 is an answer to that very problem. Legal reforms must find an echo in social reforms and they figured that one way to achieve this is by encouraging women to talk by giving them a dedicated platform that is secure, supportive, discreet, and most importantly, empowered to act. WPL-1090 became that platform.

The Scope of WPL-1090

The scope of the project is to curb any kind of harassment caused to women because of gender insensitivity. It includes harassment caused by Obscene/Objectionable or Lewd phone calls, SMS or objectionable material posted on social networking sites and harassment in public transport or public places, workplaces or homes.

Guiding Principles

  • Victims' identity will never be disclosed.
  • Only trained lady police officers will respond to victims.
  • Victims will not be called to any police station.
  • WPL will remain in touch with the victim even after the problem is completely resolved.
  • One State One Number 1090

Infrastructure and Human Resource

1090-WPL is 75 workstations based round the clock call center to take complaints from all women of Uttar Pradesh via all possible ICT channels. It is state of the art internet-telephony & cloud computing based solution, very advanced yet user-friendly solution. It is run by the state police force, where the police use their law-enforcing function only as a last resort, and instead, help identify the perpetrator and counsel him into mending his ways

Infrastructure and Human Resource

At present total strength of 162 police personnel are working in WPL out of which 124 are women police officers. There are three working shifts and transportation facility is provided by WPL.

Simplified Procedures:

Keeping the procedure simple was utmost priority of WPL Team. The objective was to make a hassle free, easy to use legitimate system that takes care of our social ethos and practices. A needy woman can reach 1090 by almost all possible means of communication available today, and round the clock, round the year. WPL ensures comfort and trust for women by Simplified Procedures.

  • The identity of complainant is never disclosed.
  • Only women police officers attend the complaints.
  • The complainant is never called to the police station
  • As soon as the complaint is registered a ref-ID of is sent to the victim
  • The WPL team pursues the complaint until the problem is fully resolved
    • WPL team takes at least three feedbacks over a period of two months even after the resolution of complaint.
    • Cases of domestic violence are resolved empathetically but with firmness. WPL uses various social pressures to correct the errant behaviors. Initiating legal action remains last resort when all other efforts to improve the behavior fail.
    • WPL team keeps on sending bulk SMS on various occasions, to all the complainants to boost their confidence in WPL 1090.
    • WPL also sends bulk SMS to all perpetrators to remind and warn them to keep their conduct upright as there is one agency that is keeping an eye on them.

In every complaint made by concerned women and victims, the WPL team strictly adheres the above principles that make the whole exercise very simple for the complainants and victims.

In every complaint made by concerned women and victims, the WPL team strictly adheres the above principles that make the whole exercise very simple for the complainants and victims.

Priorities and Purpose:

The primary purpose of WPL is to reform the society once forever. It apparently seems unachievable target but results have been extremely encouraging and WPL team has firm belief and motivation that this unattainable target can be achieved within 5-7 years if focus is not lost. The WPL initiative has three priorities:

  1. Crack down on factors that contributed to prevent women from raising their voice
  2. Empowering and encouraging them to speak up
    1. Build a system that allowed for counseling and reform of the offenders instead of criminalizing them for actions that are rooted in their social conditioning

Strategies:

The team saw the idea evolve into a concept for a call center-based service for women, run by the state police force, where the police used their law-enforcing function only as a last resort, and instead, helped identify the offender and counseled him into mending his ways. The initiative approaches the problem on three different levels:

  • The identity of the perpetrators is carefully verified and recorded and cops talk to them directly; fear of action by the police is found to suffice in most cases. Intensive documentation helps maintain a profile of perpetrators.
  • If counseling doesn't work, the WPL team reaches out to the people socially significant to the perpetrator, for example, family. The perpetrator may even be stripped of his driving license, passport, character certificate issued by the State Police, etc.
  • If none of this works, the police pursue it to its legal consequences in a court of law — the victim never has to take the trouble to do so.

Game Changers

Determined Pursuance till conclusive end.

  • Robust feedback mechanism.
  • All calls are recorded and back up is kept for one year.
  • Highest level of transparency.
  • Regular training and sensitization.

WPL ensures strict vigilance on identity of the complainant and that complainant always talks to a women police officer. The complainant is never called to any police station and WPL follows up her case for feedbacks for at least 2 months before its final closure. In action taken course, WPL counsels, reprimands gives chances for behavior improvements to perpetrator, sometimes even family members of perpetrator are summoned to give formal apology. WPL keeps sending bulk sms, as a reminder and legal action against perpetrator remains last resort.

The objective is to reform society and not to solve individual complaints. WPL-1090 works as a vaccine to this very inimical problem. So far results of this initiative have been extremely encouraging.

Implementation in Phased Manner

  • Phase 1 - All complaints pertaining to harassment on phone calls
  • Phase 2 - Harassment/blackmailing on Social sites
  • Phase 3-  Any kind of Harassment anytime and anywhere
  • Phase 4 – Serious offences against women

Women Police Officers Working at WPL-1090

Technical Support

WPL-1090 is web-based solution that uses Internet telephony for the communication. The data back up is done for two years. This is based of SPI (Software Platform and Infrastructure) model. At present system uses three PRI lines and 2Mbps dedicated leased line for data. Since the system is online, it can be seen and tested from any part of the world.

Highlights of the WPL

Creative: Women Power Line is an unprecedented initiative — for it goes where even women's own families won't. Before WPL happened, women had absolutely no means to make authorities or even their own families take their plight seriously. 

Transparency: Transparency was achieved through the use of Internet telephony instead of the usual phone lines; making it nearly impossible to tamper with the data exchanged. 

Innovative: Only the sufferer herself may file a complaint — not her family members, not her guardians, enabling her to bypass possible discouragement from her family or society. The name reflects its aim: to empower women to raise their voices. It is not a help line, it is Women Power Line. 

Replicability: It is a simple web-based cloud-telephony solution that can be replicated easily.

Sustainability of the initiative: The key to the initiative's sustainability lies in its system orientation. The required Government Orders have been issued, a separate budget has been approved, and today it stands as 33rd unit of UP Police.

Power Angels

A novel concept of this initiative is the introduction of Power Angels, who are young girls and designated as Special Police Officers as per law. These power angels have been chosen from all strata of society. The objective is that every classroom, every

street, village or hamlet must have at least one Power Angel who is connected to System through WPL-1090 and who could speak on behalf of those timid hesitant girls. The detailed information on Power Angels is given in separate Power Angel manual. Imagine a scenario when every village, street, colony, and

every classroom will have three to four Power Angels who can report back to WPL of any kind

of harassment or illegal act or any other objectionable thing,WPL will become most effective

Outcomes i.e. impact/benefits resulting form the initiative

WPL ensures strict vigilance on identity of the complainant and that complainant always talks to a women police officer. The complainant is never called to any police station and WPL follows up her case for feedbacks for at least 3 months before its final closure. In action taken course, WPL counsels, reprimands gives chances for behavior improvements to perpetrator, sometimes even family members of perpetrator are summoned to give formal apology. WPL keeps sending bulk sms, as a reminder and legal action against perpetrator remains last resort .The objective is to reform society and not to solve individual complaints. WPL-1090 works as a vaccine to this very inimical problem. So far results of this initiative have been extremely encouraging.

 

For any query or suggestion email us at wpl1090-up@nic.in
website: 1090up.in
 
Mahila Samman Prakoshtha, U.P. Police

Mahila Samman Prakoshtha

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Mahila Samman Prakoshtha, U.P. Police

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