The Telegraph
Friday , June 13 , 2014
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Open court on gender abuse

Dowry torture, domestic violence and usurpation of property emerged as chief grievances at an open court of state women commission, held at Circuit House in Jamshedpur on Thursday.

Commission’s chairperson Mahua Maji and members Shabnam Perween and Kiran Kumari were present at the hearing, where 36 cases were heard. Later, Maji visited women wards of Ghaghidih Central Jail and inspected Sadar Hospital in Khasmahal and MGM Medical College and Hospital in Sakchi.

The members found the condition of female wards at MGM hospital pathetic. They would write to state health department secretary B.K. Tripathy on the issue.

The commission also directed East Singhbhum administration to seal the women’s helpline near SDO court compound. The directive was issued after complaints that a sex racket was being run from the facility. During a surprise inspection, the front door to the office was found closed, while the back door was ajar. “I spoke to principal secretary of social welfare department Rajiv Arun Ekka who confirmed that they do not run any women’s helpline in Jamshedpur," said Maji.

Maji said that in the next two months, the commission would launch exercises to spread awareness among anganwadi sevikas and child development project officers (CDPOs).

“Women hesitate to go to police and confide into anganwadi sevikas. We are trying to encourage these sevikas and CDPOs about the crucial role they can play in women’s fight for justice,” she said.

She pointed out that the anganwadi sevika kendras would register complaints and forward it to all-women police stations or court. “They will act as the first level of complaint redressal. Further action will be taken by the commission on the basis of their report,” said Maji.

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