Lucknow: Aparna had to stop going to college for some time due to a stalker. She didn’t have the courage to report the matter to police. However, a ‘power angel’ presentation by Women Power Line (1090) staff marked a turnaround in her life. “I decided to enrol myself in the initiative as I don’t want another girl to suffer like me,” she said.
Aparna will be among the first batch of around 1,000 girls chosen by the power line to be designated as Special Police Officer (SPO) on April 10. It would also mark the start of the ambitious ‘power angels’ project to engage two lakh girls for assisting police in curbing crime against women across the state.
Said to be one of its kind exercise in the country so far, around four lakh application forms have been distributed in the entire state through educational institutions, police stations and gram pradhans. Around 86,000 girls have already applied and the selection process is underway.
“We will designate girls as power angels by handing them SPO cards after training on April 10. The process will continue till we have reached the target of two lakh,” said inspector general of police incharge of WPL Navnit Sekera. WPL began in 2012 to help women in distress.
Deputy suprintendent of police, WPL, Babita Singh, said, “The need for power angels was felt because girls are usually reluctant to voice their issues and lack awareness regarding relevant laws. Power angels would keep an eye on happenings in and around their localities and educational institutions and inform police about cases of harassment and domestic violence where complainants are reluctant to come forward. Police will take it from there. The angels will make their peers aware of women-related laws and rights. Their anonymity will be maintained. Police, which are struggling with staff crunch, will get information on time to take preventive measures.”
About eligibility and the selection process for power angels or SPO, officials said the candidate should be studying in class XI or above and will have to be nominated by her school/college with the consent of her parents. The SPO’s tenure will be between 3-5 years. All SPOs will get ID cards.
On possibilities of misuse of ID cards, Sekera said “Girls would act as informers and not involved in any administration. They will use ID only to identify themselves for reporting a matter to 1090 or police officials of their respective areas on CUG numbers. We will have a computerised data bank of all power-angels.”
In the second stage, these power angels will sensitize at least 10 more girls, which means gradually we will empower 20 lakh girl in the state. The initiative is based on a research done in US which states that a girl can influence 8-10 of her peers, said Sekera.
Using technique of Out Bound Dialling (OBD) which means a call will be made on number of an angel from 1090 and told about common Sections of Crpc for 90 seconds in audio, if the girl understands she will press 1 and if she does not then press 2 it will be repeated, like this daily one section of CRPC will be dealt in.
Awareness about laws relating to women:
- Explaining the working of Police in brief.
- Maintaining one’s health and hygiene.
- How to access a system of government.
- Lectures on development of Society at large.
- How to obtain information through RTI
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