The Flipside: Protection Officers Voice their Concerns
Protection Officers kuch kaam ke nahi hain, saara kaam humein hi karna padta hai, is a popular conception among the Police and other stakeholders who easily put the blame on Protection Officers for failures in the implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA).
The year 2005 saw the passage of an extremely progressive act, the PWDVA, which for the first time gave power to female survivors of violence within a domestic relationship, be it in the position of a wife, a daughter, a sister, or a live-in-partner. Over time, as has been the unfortunate case with most acts, many gaps have arisen in implementation of this act. This has resulted in the implementers of the act including the Police and other Service Providers passing the buck on to the so far least heard Protection Officers.
Delhi currently has 17 Protection Officers who are now functioning full time at their designated duties. The time when Protection Officers often did not sit at the office assigned to them, could not be reached over the phone, and in some cases were not even aware of the duty assigned to them, is thankfully a thing of the past.
CSR conducted a training for these Protection Officers last year on the PWDVA and sought to understand the kinds of challenges they faced during their work. While it was considered that the implementation of the PWDVA was not impactful because of the sluggish attitude of the Protection Officers , through the training it was discerned that the Officers themselves have a lot of administrative problems to deal with; some of which are listed below –
- Though duties of the PO are defined under the Act, their rights are not
- While the POs are given a certain area of jurisdiction, they are often asked to go to areas beyond their designated reach where they are not allowed to exercise their duties/powers
- Other implementers of the Act, including the Magistrate, are unaware of the role of POs and ask them to perform duties that are not their responsibility
- POs are called in as witness in many cases dealt by them allowing them little time to carry out their routine duties
- The areas of jurisdiction are large and more officers are needed to deal with the heavy flow of cases
While we appreciate the gargantuan task faced by the Protection Officers every day and stand with them in the call for increasing the number of officers to make the system more efficient, the task of sensitising not only POs but also the other implementers of the Act remains, as that would allow them to deal with cases of violence in a more sensitive manner. Survivors of violence cannot suffer the consequences of the rough edges of administrative glitches and more cooperation is required from all stakeholders to smoothen the process for these survivors and support them in their plight for justice.
Given below are the details of the Protection Officers on duty in Delhi-
|S. No.||Name||Address||District||Office No.||Mobile No.|
|1||Ms. Archana Singh/ Ms Diksha||20/21, Gulabi Bagh, Shopping Complex||North||22450147
|3||Ms. Madhu Manvi/ Ms Preeti||N. P. School for Deaf, Sector 4, Near Vishram Chowk, Rohini, N. Delhi-85||North-West- I||27040844||9871686085/ 9654993700|
|5||Ms. Jyoti Sirohi/ Ms Kiran Sharma||Nirmal Chhaya Complex, Jail Road, Hari Nagar, N. Delhi-64||West||28520952||9971355560/9871696097|
|7||Ms. Binita Bahuguna||GLNS Complex, Delhi Gate, N. Delhi-02||Central||23318323||9868072963|
|8||Ms. Madhulika/ Ms. Neha Walia||Block no. 10, Geeta Colony, Opp. Shamshan Ghat, Delhi||East||22450147
|10||Ms. Sushi Disha||Sanskar Ashram for Girls, Dilshad Garden, Opp. GTB Hospital, Delhi||North-East||22133765||9968313588|
|11||Ms. Neeraj Chauhan||K. G. Road, New Delhi||New Delhi||23071093||9811885167|
|12||Ms. Kirti Dhaka/ Ms. Tripti||Udyog Sadan, Qutab Institutional Area, Delhi||South-West||26529019
|14||Ms. Babeeta||N. P. School for Deaf, Sector 4, Near Vishram Chowk, Rohini, N. Delhi-85||North-West- II||27055275
|15||Ms. Sneh Yadav||1 Canning Lane, K. G. Marg, N. Delhi||North-West- II||27055275
|16||Ms. Priti Mudgal/ Ms. Shikha||Kasturba Niketan Complex, Lajpat Nagar-II, N. Delhi-24||South/South East||29819812