Recently, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan inaugurated a fortnight-long awareness programme for crimes against women called ‘Samman’.

The aim of the campaign ‘Samman’ is to create a safe and secure atmosphere which ensures dignity to all women.

Our campaign is a campaign to change the attitude and mentality of the society. The work of ensuring safety and respect for daughters is not only of government and police, but it requires change in mentality of the society. The attitude where all wrongdoings of sons are condoned but multiple restrictions are put on the daughters and daughters are held guilty for any crime against them has to change,” said the chief minister.

In the inauguration ceremony, he urged girls and women to not be scared or resort to any untoward step, and rather come forth to report the crime and violence against them, ensuring that the government will be responsible to punish the guilty. 

He also mentioned that parents should not ignore girls and give them an atmosphere at home where they can share all their problems.

Unveiling the mascot ‘Guddi’ and jingles and songs for the women’s safety awareness campaign, he also felicitated individuals who were instrumental in the rescue and saving of women and girls falling victim to crime and violence, through videoconferencing.

The chief minister also highlighted the developments in crimes against women.

He said,“ the past nine months, incidents of rape have gone down by 19 per cent in the state, while kidnapping has reduced by 23 per cent, female foeticide by 20 per cent and sexual harassment by 14 per cent. Around 7,000 missing women were found by police.” 

The chief minister made certain promises and announced the plans the government has in order to improve the safety of women. Some of them were well received, while others were questioned. 

The three most striking promises are as follows:

Working Women Need To Register Themselves For Safety

As per the chief minister, a new system will be put in place under which any woman moving out of her house for her work will register herself at the local police station, and she will be tracked for her safety.

This news came as a shocker and many people questioned the intent behind it.

People have raised concerns over the fact that if implemented, this system can hamper women’s autonomy and infringe their privacy.

Safety In Public Transports

To improve the safety of women in public transport, the Madhya Pradesh government would install the technically advanced control command centre (CCC) in the vehicles. 

The CCC would keep a check on all kinds of activities in public transport vehicles through the Vehicle Location Tracking Devices (VLTDs) and emergency panic buttons. 

The technological setup will be integrated with the state emergency response system to indicate any unpleasant incidents to the police and the transport department immediately. 

Also Read: Women Who Constantly Faced Harassment In Kolkata Public Transport Come Up With Their Own Safety Guide Here

“The integration of the VLTDs and emergency buttons with the CCC would pave a milestone to ensure women’s safety in public transport vehicles,” said Mukesh Jain, Transport Commissioner of MP.

Arvind Saxena, additional transport commissioner (Enforcement) also informed that “The CCC will be equipped with the real time location and plotting, geofencing and other maps based tools which will help to send quick relief. The CCC would receive the alerts automatically like emergency, speed violation, gel-fence and VLT device tampering etc.”

A helpline number will be provided to such women, enabling them to call for help in case of distress. 

Raising The Minimum Age Of Women For Marriage 

In the same function, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also questioned the rationale behind the difference in the minimum age of women and men to get married.

He argued that the minimum age of women to get married should be raised from 18 to 21 to ensure that crimes against women like child marriage can be prevented in future.

When the legal age of marriage for boys is 21, why couldn’t it be so for girls? Intellectual people in the state and country should think about it, so that we can take some decision on this,” said the chief minister.

The statement came months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation on the 74th Independence Day, had stated that the central government has constituted a committee formed by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development to look into the minimum marriageable age for women.

While the initiatives taken by the Madhya Pradesh government towards women’s safety and empowerment can be appreciated, it is not the first time that such steps are being taken. Legal steps need to be followed by effective implementation and overall consideration to actually produce any tangible change. 

What are your views about these initiatives? Let us know in the comments section!

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: The Indian Express, India Today, Firstpost

Find the blogger: @darshanaaaac

This post is tagged under: Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Samman, awareness programme, Crime Against Women, Working Women, Tracking, Safety, Local Police Station. Tracking For Safety, Safety In Public Transport, Public Vehicles, Control Command Centre, Vehicle Location Tracking Devices, Minimum Age For Marriage, 18 to 21, Raise The Minimum Age of Marriage

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