Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Women's helpdesk for Commonwealth Games

Keeping in mind the safety concerns of women during the Commonwealth Games next year, the Delhi government Tuesday announced a plan to establish 'gender help desks' at various places across the city.

The helpdesks will be established at entry points like airports, railway stations, interstate bus terminals, all sports stadiums and the Commonwealth Games Village. They will be managed by Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).

Delhi's CM Sheila Dixit explained, 'Addressing gender is not only about providing support services, it is also about gender appropriate behaviour. We need to work with a large number of support agencies to ensure that everybody is aware of respecting the rights of women, their rights to privacy, their right not to be touched in an inappropriate manner.'

'Gender appropriate behaviour also includes ensuring the use of appropriate language in the presence of women,' she said.

Dikshit said the objectives of gender help desks is not only to promote the safety of women but also to guide other stakeholders in maintaining appropriate conduct during the Commonwealth Games.

The help desks will start functioning at all locations two weeks ahead of the event. They will have trained staff and will be operational round the clock at entry points and for 16 hours a day at the stadiums.

The desks will have information about services available, emergency transport facilities, access to emergency shelters and emergency medical care as well as access to the police. 'A toll-free number would also be available 24 hours for distress calls. These desks would work in collaboration with the hospitality service providers, police, embassies and the resident commissioners of other states,' an official statement said.


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