Will monitor protection officers,help in reporting of cases
With nearly 5,000 cases being reported to the city-based Women and Child Welfare department every year,the first-of-its-kind Domestic Violence (DV) Cell in Maharashta,which started at the commissionerate here on Wednesday,is set to monitor the role of protection officers appointed under the DV Act.
Recently,the state cleared the proposal for the appointment of 37 full-time protection officers. After Kerala and Tamil Nadu,the cell in Pune is being hailed as a monitoring authority for better implementation of the Domestic Violence Act,2005.
Officials from the department said the cell would help in monitoring the work of the protection officers who will be appointed as well as the existing child protection officers under the district administration.
There is gross under-reporting of domestic violence cases. The appointment of full-time officers and a dedicated cell to monitor them will ensure better implementation of the Act, said deputy commissioner,women and child welfare,Ravi Patil.
The officers will be appointed in all districts. Besides,another 37 officers will act as support staff. The administration has also decided to revise the role of 3,900 child development project officers (CPDOs) as protection officers in the district,which will ensure better recording and hearing of these cases.
The commissionerate will talk to the district collector so that the existing child development project officers and the newly appointed 37 full-time protection officers ensure that there is proper reporting of cases. The cell,which was set up with the help of Majlis,an NGO,will focus on ensuring that the protection officers are carrying out their duties as prescribed. The DV cell,which has come after the anti-trafficking cell at the commissionerate,stresses on monitoring,training,guiding and supervising stakeholders designated under the Act, said a member from Majlis,which forms part of the cell.
Earlier,activists had said the department had not taken any initiative in spreading awareness about the Act. Revenue officers who were appointed could not handle the work effectively because of election duty. A dedicated protection officer would help implement the Act better, said Patil. Revenue department officials sub-divisional officers,tehsildars,nayab tehsildars,block development officers and extension officers were to take part in this initiative.
Patil said the appointed protection oficers and the CDPOs will undergo training at YASHADA. The cell will also have updated records of the cases reported under the DV Act. As the state will be able to implement the Act better,more cases can be taken up by the officers, said Patil.