Congress to start toll-free helpline for women in Goa

Panaji: Claiming that women are not safe in Goa, the Congress on Friday announced the launch within a fortnight of a toll-free helpline for women in distress, including victims of sexual and domestic abuse.

“It is sad that women in Goa have no one to protect them… law and order in Goa is really slipping in the absence of the Chief Minister, who also holds the home portfolio. We are going to launch a toll-free helpline operated by Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress to help women in distress,” All India Mahila Congress General Secretary Netta D’Souza told the reporters here.

D’Souza, who is in charge of the party’s Goa affairs, said that her party was “forced to step in” because there was no effective administration in place to protect women, especially in the absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. who is undergoing treatment abroad.

She also decried what she called “increasing crime against women in Goa”, including last week’s gang rape of a 20-year-old woman by three tourists at a popular beach in South Goa.

D’Souza also criticised Goa BJP leader Sulakshana Sawant, who last week was reported saying that the state could not provide security to each and every individual in Goa.

“It is really sad that women of Goa have no one to protect them. Crime against women is at the highest. The BJP (women wing) President says that it is not the government’s duty to take care of women. We (Congress) cannot protect women but we will ensure that we take up their cases and that justice is delivered,” the Congress leader said.