Kolkata: It was beyond midnight when an official of West Bengal Commission for Women got a call from a Salt Lake resident, asking him to rescue an elderly woman who was pushed out of her home by her daughter-in-law allegedly after being tortured for more than two years.
The 72-year-old woman, wife of a former IAS officer, was rescued from a south Kolkata footpath and had to be rushed to a hospital for an urgent treatment for the physical assaults she met allegedly during her struggle at her own home.
"She had to be hospitalised for more than a week. She was traumatised both physically and mentally and had not a single penny. We took care of all her expenses and reinstated her rights at her home," a senior official at the WBCW said.
It took another eight months for the woman to get back to her late husband's house and regain her rights.
However, only a few among the several victims of domestic violence are as lucky as her.
Their plight is not addressed following which they start compromising with perpetrators.
For them there is a new ray of hope.
The WBCW, with the Centre's initiative to help tortured women victims with legal assistance, medical-help as well as counselling, is planning a crisis centre at Barasat in North 24 Parganas district.
"This is a central government initiative and it has been decided at a recent meeting in New Delhi that each state will have a crisis centre to address issues related to tortures on women," WBCW Chairperson Apala Seth told PTI.
"Victims of domestic violence, rape victims will get all kind of assistance from this Centre which includes legal assistance, doctors, ambulance facility and counselling as well," she said.
The Centre would also fund the legal expenses of the victims while its coordinators would guide them for the proceedings, she said, adding that a space inside the Barasat Hospital has already been identified to build the Centre.
"Everyday, we come across several cases where women are evicted from their in-laws places. And these days, we come across senior citizens who are tortured and thrown out of the house. They come to us for accommodation.
"This centre will also provide a short-time accommodation to the tortured women and they will later be rehabilitated," Seth said.
In Maharashtra, two units have already started functioning while in Delhi one would soon be operational, she said.
"Eventually, each district will have one crisis unit to address such issues. The victim will also get information on vocational training courses which will help her in getting job in the future," Seth said.
"WBCW is mostly emphasising for better coordination with all other departments to resolve victims' grievances quickly," she said, adding WBCW is also trying to provide speedy justice to the women and also generating awareness among the public about the issue.