New Delhi: Sixty per cent of helplines at shelter homes for women in distress are not functional, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has found.
Ministry officials recently made surprise phone calls to the helplines at the homes under Swadhar scheme to check their efficacy and to their utter dismay, only 40 per cent of the total 480 responded.
The rest of the helplines either were not attended or were found dead and not in use.
The Ministry has now issued notices to the NGOs running these homes seeking explanation why the helplines are not working.
Other large scale instances of irregularities and discrepancies have also come to the notice of the Ministry following which it is taking up a drive to clear all the pending files on Swadhar Homes (destitute homes) and Ujjawala home (shelter houses for trafficked women) on a war footing.
Of the total 480 Swadhar homes across the country, 350 homes have not received funds from the Government due to non-submission of various documents.
Again, the file papers of 105 of the total 380 Ujjawala homes are pending.
"We are not able to release the funds allocated for these homes under the Swadhar and Ujjawala scheme due to the non-submission of various documents including utilisation certificates, details of training programmes being run by these homes, etc," a top Ministry official said.
Such irregularities, the officials say are affecting the implementation of the schemes which are aimed at providing shelter, food, clothing and care to the women living in difficult circumstances and also to rehabilitate them socially and economically through education, awareness, skill upgrade and personality development.
The ministry has started contacting the state governments through letters requesting them to immediately inspect the houses and send the reports so that the money for these homes could be released.