With an aim to ensure proper implementation of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, the central government is set to launch a national helpline on Monday, December 13. The POA Act was enacted with a view to, inter-alia, prevent atrocities on members of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
In a press release, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment stated that the National Helpline Against Atrocities (NHAA) will be available 24x7 on toll-free number "14566" across the country.
People can access the service by making a voice call /VOIP either from their mobile or landline number of any Telecom Operator across India. This service will be available in Hindi, English and other regional languages of the states and union territories. The mobile application will also be available, the release said.
Ending Discrimination Against SC/ST Persons
The objective of the helpline is to build informed awareness about the provisions of the Law that are aimed at ending discrimination against SC/ST people and providing protection to all. The system will make sure that every complaint is registered as an FIR, relief is provided, all registered complaints are thoroughly investigated and chargesheets filed are prosecuted in the courts for decision - all within the given timelines in the Act.
Available as a web-based self-service portal also, the NHAA will generate awareness about the Protection of Civil Right (PCR) Act, 1955 as well as its rules.
A victim, complainant or NGOs shall be given a Docket number for each complaint regarding non-compliance with the POA Act, 1989 and the PCR Act, 1955. Later, they can track the status of the grievance online.
Any inquiry shall be replied to by IVR or operators in Hindi, English and Regional languages.
This helpline will adopt the concept of a Single Point of Contact and have a proper feedback system.