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GoI to establish 13 ‘One-Stop Centres’ for women in JK

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Srinagar, Oct 12: The Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India has approved 13 new One-Stop Centres (OSC) for Women for J&K.
According to Secretary Social Welfare, Dr Farooq Ahmad Lone, the news OSCs shall be established in Samba, Udhampur, Poonch, Reasi, Ramban, Kishtwar, Pulwama, Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Shopian, Kulgam and Kargil. He said with the establishment of 13 new OSCs, the total number of such Centres in the State will go up to 22, covering all the districts.
Dr Lone said these Centres will be fully funded by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India and Rs 5.65 crore have been earmarked by the Ministry for the new OSCs.
He said the project proposal in this regard was formulated by the State Resource Centre for Women, Department of Social Welfare, Government of J&K.
Secretary Social Welfare said OSCs are intended to support women affected by violence, in private and public spaces, within the family, community and at the workplace.
Women facing physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse, irrespective of age, class, caste, education status, marital status, race and culture will be facilitated with support and redressal.
Aggrieved women facing any kind of violence due to attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, honor related crimes, acid attacks or witch-hunting who have reached out or been referred to the OSC will be provided with specialized services, he said and added that the OSCs shall facilitate immediate, emergency and non – emergency access to a range of services including medical, legal, psychological and counselling support under one roof against any forms of violence against women.
He said the services offered by OSCs include Emergency Response and Rescue Services to provide rescue and referral services to the women affected by violence. For this, he said, linkages will be developed with existing mechanisms such as National Health Mission (NHM) and law enforcing agencies so that the woman affected by violence can either be rescued from the location and referred to the nearest medical facility (Public/ Private) or shelter home.
OSCs, Dr Lone said, will women affected by violence would be referred by OSCs to the nearest Hospital for medical aid/examination which would be undertaken as per the guidelines and protocols developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
He said these Centres would assist women in lodging FIR /NCR/DIR.
The other facilities to be provided by OSCs include psycho – social support/ counselling. “A skilled counsellor providing psycho – social counselling services would be available on call. This counselling process will give women confidence and support to address violence or to seek justice for the violence perpetuated,” he said and added that the counsellors shall follow a prescribed code of ethics, guidelines and protocols in providing counselling services.
He said to facilitate access to justice for women affected by violence, legal aid and counselling would be provided at OSC through empaneled Lawyers or National/ State/District Legal Service Authority. “The aggrieved woman would be provided with an advocate of her choice in case she wants to engage the same to assist the State Prosecutors in trying her case,” he said and added it would be the responsibility of the Lawyer /Prosecutor to simplify legal procedures for the aggrieved woman and advocate for her exemption from court hearings.
The OSC, he said will also provide temporary shelter facility to aggrieved women. For long term shelter requirements, arrangements will be made with Short Stay Homes (managed/affiliated with government/NGO).
To facilitate speedy and hassle-free police and court proceedings, the OSC will provide video conferencing facility if the aggrieved woman wants, she can record her statement for police/ courts from OSC itself using audio – video electronic means.
Dr Lone said a woman can access the OSC through any person including any public-spirited citizen, public servant, relative, friend, NGO, volunteer etc, or through Women Helpline integrated with police, ambulance and other emergency response help lines.


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Upcoming snow spell: Avalanche warning issued for Kashmir, Ladakh districts

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Srinagar, Jan 19: Kashmir areas experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday, with the weather office forecasting more in store for the next three days.
“A western disturbance (WD) is presently active over the state under whose influence moderate to heavy snowfall is likely to occur in the valley till January 23 after which the intensity of the WD will start decreasing,” a Met Department official said here.
District administrations have set up helplines to help prevent any untoward incident due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DC’s to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
While the nightlong cloud cover increased minimum temperatures throughout the valley on Saturday, the maximum temperatures are expected to drop further, the weather official said.
Srinagar recorded minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 4.4 and Gulmarg minus 7.0 as the minimum temperatures.
Leh town had minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 18.9 as the night’s lowest temperature.
Jammu city recorded 8.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 9.1, Batote 3.9, Bannihal 2.3 and Bhaderwah 1.3 as the minimum temperatures.

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UN clearly did its job: Guterres on Kashmir human rights report

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United Nations: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.
The UN chief also said he has been offering his “good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.”
Guterres was speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
“I hope that the importance of both India and Pakistan is such in international affairs, I hope that the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue,” he said.
The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said to a question by a Pakistan journalist on the situation in Kashmir.

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Day after grenade attack, forces conduct search op in Lal Chowk

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Srinagar: A joint search operation was launched by the forces and police in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Saturday.
The search came a day after the grenade attack took place in the locality, which left a vehicle and windowpanes of some shops damaged.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed near the Clock Tower here while the frisking was also intensified.
They said that drones too were used during the operation.
However, a top police official said that it was a routine exercise ahead of upcoming Republic Day.

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