Port Blair, May 22: The Women Helpline 181, under Directorate of Social Welfare, successfully organized a webinar focused on ‘Awareness on Gender Equality’. This initiative was part of a broader effort to promote gender equality and empower women and children through various support mechanisms, including the newly established Women and Child Development Control Room.

Dr. Nitin Shakya, Director (Social Welfare), delivered a compelling address highlighting the crucial importance of guaranteeing women's rights and providing them with opportunities to reach their full potential. He emphasized that gender equality is not only vital for social justice but also for achieving a wide range of international development goals. He also stated that empowered women and girls contribute significantly to the health and productivity of their families, communities, and nations, creating a profound ripple effect.

Smt. Sushma Pandey, Women Helpline Administrator, provided detailed information about the 24x7 Women and Child Development Control Room, located at the Social Welfare Board, VIP Road, Junglighat. She highlighted the toll-free helpline numbers 181 for women and 1098 for children. These Helplines, established under the ‘Mission Shakti Scheme’, offer immediate and emergency response to women affected by violence. The service ensures referral and linkage with appropriate authorities such as Police, One-Stop Centers, and Hospitals, and provides comprehensive information about Government schemes and programs related to women.

The webinar featured an insightful session by Smti. S. Krishna Veni, Call Operator, Women Helpline, on the topic of Gender Equality. She explained that gender equality involves providing equal opportunities and resources to both men and women, ensuring fair treatment, and overcoming socially ingrained disparities.

The event was well-attended by representatives from Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs), Anganwadi Workers (AWWs), Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), Self-Help Groups (SHGs), and staff from Social Welfare Department, Women Helpline, Child Helpline, and One-Stop Centers.