National Commission for Women (NCW) in India has been running several campaigns in order to spread awareness with regards to domestic violence against women and helping senior citizens during lockdown. Chairperson Rekha Sharma said the high numbers of domestic abuse against women can be attributed to the lockdown — imposed since March 25 — which has locked the abuser (read man) and the victim (read woman) together.
While sharing few case studies on the kind of violence reported, NCW also launched a WhatsApp number — 7217735372 — to report cases of domestic abuse.
Soon co-ordinated campaigns started and the same were promoted by several bollywood star campaigners namely, Amitabh Bachchan, Karan Johar, Ajay Devgn, Farhan Akhtar, Madhuri Dikshit,Vidya Balan, Anushka Sharma and also her ace cricketer husband Virat Kohli.
On May 22, Senior Bachchan shared a message from his twitter handle promoting NCW hashtag #HappytoHelp and calling for all to aide senior citizens facing issues during these crisis. Sharing the exclusive email ID created for this communication, he wrote,
T 3638 – Lets help the elderly !! #HappytoHelp task force for helping senior citizens medical attention, facing issues procurement essential items/medicine supplies due to Covid-19 lockdown. #HappyToHelp Task-Force @NCWIndia special e-mail : email@example.com
T 3638 – Lets help the elderly !!
#HappytoHelp task force for helping senior citizens medical attention, facing issues procurement essential items/medicine supplies due to Covid-19 lockdown.
special e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/SgMOkV8ULR
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) May 22, 2020
On April 19, captain Kohli took to twitter and shared the promoted campaign with hashtag #LockdownonDomesticViolence
If you have been a victim, witness or a survivor of the domestic violence, please report. ??#LockdownOnDomesticViolence #Dial100 @CMOMaharashtra @DGPMaharashtra @AUThackeray @aksharacentre pic.twitter.com/WVYNcVs6x3
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) April 19, 2020
There is no denying that women undergo domestic abuse and the same will be very much prevalent during lockdown. In all fairness, it is the duty of NCW to enable a safer environment for the female gender in case they get reports of such cases.
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However, on May 23, NCW was running a Facebook live session with hashtag #BystanderIntervention in association with Sayfty.com. While promoting the same through their twitter handle, NCW was sharing several live polls, one of which read:
Poll: Who is usually at the risk of harassment?
- All Above
The poll was posted at around 3pm on Saturday, however, soon the same was deleted from NCW’s twitter page, which has nearly 39k followers. The last results shown before deletion of the said poll was as below:
While the numbers may not be accurate or one may have presumed so; if any organisation is coming to the social media forum for creating an impact with their planned polls, one must be ready to accept the results displayed at the end of the same as well. Will it be just to run a poll and publish results, when the same are as per preference of any organisation?
Amidst this controversy, another email from NCW went viral — an email dated October 2012 wherein a representative of the commission had replied to an enquirer — how they are not responsible for anyone else (including women), except daughter-in-laws.
If this is the stance of NCW even as on date, we wonder how senior citizens including in-laws facing domestic abuse from their son’s wives could be protected under #HappytoHelp campaign.
Men’s Rights Activists have always demanded either a separate commission for Men or a joint family welfare commission, wherein interest of the family as a whole could be protected. One sided commission for daughter-in-laws surely is extremely biased and unfair.
Updated As On June 20, 2020
Activist Sai Krishna raised an RTI query to NCW with regards to the above mentioned deleted poll on Domestic Violence. The reply read:
The question related to ‘why’ does not come under the ambit of RTI Act 2005. This is not the first time any posts/polls have been removed. In total, there were 5 polls that were removed.
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