Telangana's Mahbubnagar district's Superintendent of Police, Rema Rajeshwari, hit the right chords when she opened up about the incident prompting her to set up a "Mobile Safety" vehicle to help domestic abuse victims amid the coronavirus lockdown.
While speaking to the Humans of Bombay, the officer said that a woman's call from Kanpur triggered the initiative. Recalling the incident, SP Rajeshwari said that a woman telephoned to report that her sister had not called her for three days and also revealed that her sister's husband would hit her, and she was worried about it.
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"A month into the lockdown, a lady called me from Kanpur. She was extremely distressed as her sister hadn't called in 3 days. Her husband would hit her and she worried it had happened again. So we sent a dispatch team and found her in such a terrible condition, it shook me. She was badly bruised, hadn't had a single drop of water in 3 days and was writhing in pain. We rushed her to the hospital and filed a case against the husband. 3 days later, she fully recovered, but her sister called again, 'Can you please send her home to me?' So I got all the passes for inter-state travel and made sure she was home safely. That incident was an eye opener– there were so many victims of domestic violence living with their abusers and they couldn't even file a complaint! To help them, I set up 'Mobile Safety'– a vehicle with my team members doing rounds across the district and in 2 weeks, we had 40 cases! Alongside, more members of my team stepped up to help the general populace. Like this one time, we dropped a pregnant lady to the hospital in the police ambulance. When my colleague returned, he was beaming! He was so excited to be there for her and her newborn son! But as the rules got stricter, my team was stretched thin – from naka bandhis to contact tracing. And pretty soon, the migrants began going back home. We set up shelters and tried convincing them to stay but it was futile. So we set up food banks along the highway– and once the railways finally opened, we helped 11,000 workers reach home in under 15 days. Over the past 3 months, my team has put their lives at stake and risked their families, so that we could help people. But last week, a majority of them tested positive and have been quarantined. Still, the only question they ask me is, 'Madam! When can we get back in action?' Such is the love for our duty!"
"We sent a dispatch team and found her in such a terrible condition, it shook me," said the SP. "She was badly bruised, hadn't had a single drop of water in 3 days and was writhing in pain."
The police department, after rescuing her, immediately rushed her to the hospital where she had to undergo three days of treatment. The survivor later filed a case against her husband. The department also helped in arranging inter-state travel so she could move from Telangana to Uttar Pradesh.
"That incident was an eye-opener - there were so many victims of domestic violence living with their abusers and they couldn't even file a complaint!" she exclaimed.
Understanding the severity of the situation where a woman would be locked up with their abusers and might fail to reach out for help, she decided to set up a mobile safety vehicle that would seek out domestic violence survivors instead of waiting for them to approach the police.
"To help them, I set up 'Mobile Safety'- a vehicle with my team members doing rounds across the district and in 2 weeks, we had 40 cases! Alongside, more members of my team stepped up to help the general populace," said Rajeshwari.
Since being shared on Thursday, the interview has collected over 45,000 'likes' on Instagram, and another 18,000 on Facebook. The comments section of the posts has been flooded with people praising SP Rajeshwari and her team.
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