UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas recently went on a UNICEF trip to Lucknow. The global actress spoke to Police Officers and discussed the concerns around the security of women in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
Priyanka Chopra Jonas discusses safety concerns with UP police officer, asks about women’s ‘fear’ of stepping out post 7 PM
In a video shared by Priyanka on her official Instagram handle, we see her walking with female police officers in Lucknow and addressing the concerns regarding women stepping out in fear in the state of UP post 7 PM. When Priyanka asked the lady officer about the fear among women and whether digitization made policing easy, the police officer said, “I will show you the data,” as they walk inside a room to show the functioning of a ‘call tracking unit,’ run by an outsourced department.
“They are not police… Because we want it should be a neutral person. Police could maybe hide the matter, so we want to bring that neutrality. They (call tracking team) are trained, they are all certified, they work around the clock,” said the officer. When the actor asked the officer, “But do you feel that after digitization, policing has become a bit easier in a state like UP especially, where girls used to be really scared and violence against women is very high…” the officer responded, “Definitely. Technology alone is not the solution. Manual policing alone is not the solution. When we gel the two, this is a deadly mix.”
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Another UP Police officer added, “Let me give you the data. Without digitisation, the average response time used to be 35-40 minutes. After digitisation and technology, (thanks to) helplines, the response time is just nine minutes.” The lady officer added as she showed Priyanka a pink house (safe police station for women) for women, “For any victim coming in, she also feels comfortable. This is her own place, safe space. She can come here and confide in anything she wants. She can be fearless here, unlike in a police station.”
Sharing the video, Priyanka also added an elaborate caption with it writing, “The safety and security of women is an urgent need. We hear many stories from across India of violence and harassment against women and girls, everyday. There is a lot of work that needs to be done and that begins with the most basic… protection by law and order / police.”
“I had the opportunity to visit the 1090 Woman Power Line (WPL)’, Uttar Pradesh’s 24/7 phone line for women to freely register complaints of any form of atrocities and sexual harassment. I met Ms. Neera Rawat (IPS, Additional Director General of Women and Child Security Organisation, UP Police) who is at the helm of Women and Child Security Organisation, UP Police in Lucknow under which this initiative is based,” she added.
Further elaborating about the helpline, Priyanka wrote, “The WPL has 154 offices in UP with a 24 hour service. Through the 1090 helpline, the police, as the first responder to any violence, have designed interventions which are victim-centric and with an intent to prevent the violence. The WPL utilises technology to its fullest to be able to respond and protect with speed, ensuring there is accountability for every call. From eve-teasing and stalking to cases of sexual harassment and domestic violence etc, the teams are trained to respond keeping the callers protection at the forefront.”
She added, “In India, violence against women and children is widespread, yet too many women and children aren’t reporting it. Because of the fear of bias and corruption But hopefully with helplines like this they can and they should. There is a lot more that needs to be done for the protection of women but initiatives like these are a great start and if implemented effectively, can be the answer to curb and end violence and ensure safety.”
Priyanka was in India to promote her haircare brand Anomaly alongside a visit to some rural areas in Uttar Pradesh as a Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF.
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