A National Helpline against Atrocities on SCs/STs to be Launched on Monday

Bhavya Pandey

New Delhi, December 12

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is scheduled to launch a National Helpline Against Atrocities (NHAA) on 13th December to ensure proper implementation of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) {PoA} Act, 1989 which was enacted with a view to, inter-alia, preventing atrocities on members of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), said in a press release issued by Press Information Bureau.

The NHAA will be available round the clock on toll-free number 14566 across the country. It can be accessed by making a voice call /VOIP either from a mobile or landline number of any Telecom Operator across the country. The services will be available in Hindi, English, and the regional language of the State/UTs. Its Mobile application will also be available.

The objective of the helpline is to build informed awareness about the provisions of the Law that are aimed at ending discrimination and providing protection to all. The system will ensure that every complaint is registered as an FIR, relief is provided, all registered complaints are investigated and all charge sheets filed are prosecuted in the courts for the decision – all within the given timelines in the Act. It is also available as a web-based self-service portal. The NHAA will generate awareness about the Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) Act, 1955, and its rules as well.

A ‘Docket number’ shall be given for each complaint received from the Victim/Complainant/NGOs regarding non-compliance with the POA Act, 1989 and the PCR Act, 1955. The status of the grievance can be tracked by complainants/NGOs 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.

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