Women in the city are set to get special focus in the recently launched National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), with the civic body proposing to set up special counselling centres in 11 peripheral hospitals in the city, on the lines of the already established Dilaasa Crisis Centre.
The Dilaasa centre, a collaboration between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and NGO Cehat, focuses on counselling women suffering from any sort of violence. Sangeeta Rege, attached with Cehat, said, “Women suffering from any form of violence, be it domestic or sexual, are counselled psychologically and legally. The centre helps them with various legal options that they can opt for.”
According to state public health department’s Dr Raju Manohar Jotkar, who is the coordinator for the NUHM scheme in the state, a nod in principle has already been given to the project implementation plan and details of budget estimate will now be decided.
“So far, the Central government has sanctioned Rs 35 crore to the BMC under NUHM. If the concept of Dilaasa succeeds, we may replicate it in other cities of Maharashtra,” Jotkar said.
Currently, the civic body has a Dilaasa centre at Bhabha Hospital in Bandra. Dr M Wadiwala, head of peripheral hospitals, confirmed that the infrastructure requirements for more centres in 11 other peripheral hospitals in the city’s eastern and western suburbs will be looked into.
At R N Cooper Hospital in Juhu, implementation of the project has started. Dr Nikhil Datar, attached with the hospital, said, “Instead of referring women of sexual abuse to Bandra Bhabha hospital for counselling, we thought we could set up such centres in different parts of the city. Currently, we are in the process of initiating this in our hospital. Women will be counselled for all sorts of violence.”
While the patient will receive no legal aid, legal advice will be given by specialists. Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, said that counsellors will be assigned to handle such patients and sensitization of respective staff will be done. “The need for specialist will be evaluated, and then they will be roped in,” she said.