I. Bhumika Helpline 1800 425 2908
Confidentiality is our prime responsibility.
Bhumika Helpline was started in 2006 which supports the women in distress through telephonic counselling and linkage building. Today “Bhumika” has become more popular for its toll free tele helpline 1800 425 2908 for women and in the process emerged as advocacy organization at the state level. About 39,771 calls were received on Helpline till December, 2020. On every Saturday, free legal guidance is being provided on Helpline. There is also a psychiatrist to support the women in need of psychiatric counselling.
Main objectives of Helpline:
- To reach out to every woman in distress and in need of care and protection by responding to calls for – legal advice and guidance, rescue, harassment, shelter/short stay home, protection from abuse and exploitation, counselling, emotional support and guidance.
- To enable them to regain confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.
- To strengthen women with information regarding legal and medical assistance etc.
- To offer immediate services in cases of family violence and atrocities in the forms of: placement in institutions or referring to family service agencies/hospitals/police stations/family courts etc.,
- To provide counselling on phone line and ensure confidentiality.
- To refer to other services including medical, psychiatric, legal, educational and vocational.
- To advocate for effective implementation of Acts, programmes and schemes meant for women in need.
- To be a liaison between police and organizations working for women and children.
- To provide a platform for networking and linkages with support systems which facilitate the rehabilitation of women in need of care and protection.
- To create awareness on issues of gender discrimination, women´s rights etc., by developing and disseminating IEC (information, education and campaign) material.
- To publicise Helpline for wider reach.
Bhumika Women´s Collective working on women’s issues is anchoring the civil society alliance at the Telangana state level and also undertaking various research activities on women related issues and legal provisioning and giving feedback to various related departments for supportive measures. The research and advocacy issues are dealt by the unit of Bhumika Women´s Collective, primarily known as Bhumika Civil Society Resource Facility (CSRF).
Objectives of CSRF:
- Undertaking research and studies on women issues.
- Creating a platform of various women´s organizations, and other civil society members and educating women on legal rights.
- Organising awareness campaigns on various Acts. About 1,609 awareness programs were conducted till December 2020.
- Gender sensitization trainings for police, judiciary, DWCD, NGOs, etc. 388 Trainings were done by Bhumika Women’s Collective till December, 2020.
Bhumika is running 8 “Special Cells for Women” (located at Women Police Stations) as a support mechanism for survivors of violence. The Special Cells are established in the Women Police Stations at the respective places. The Special Cells are aimed at providing a multi-pronged support required for survivors and complainants of violence, to prevent and counter crime against women and engage with the youth, families and communities on the issue of violence against women. About 10,725 women and girls received support from the Special Cells till December 2020.
Role and Functions of Special Cells for Women and Children:
- Provide emotional support and strengthen the psychological self of the violated women and children.
- Negotiate for non-violence with perpetrators of violence and other stakeholders involved.
- Work towards building support systems for violated women.
- Work in close collaboration with protection officer and get civil remedies for women.
- Engaging police help in the interest of the violated women.
- Providing legal aid.
- Arranging shelter for the violated women through referrals to short stay homes, institutions, hostel etc.,
- Working with men in the interest of the violated women.
- Work towards helping women to rebuild her economic assets such as streedhan.
- Engage in advocacy related activities such as engaging with the youth, educational institutions and communities to generate awareness about violence against women.
- Engage in development counseling with the violated women especially post crisis period.
Location of Special Cells:
- Uppal Police Station, Uppal, Hyderabad.
- Alwal Police Station, Alwal, Hyderabad.
- Women Police Station, Gachibowli, Hyderabad.
- Women Police Station, Saroornagar, Rangareddy.
- Women Police Station, II Town Police Station, Mankammathota, Karimnagar.
- Women Police Station, Labbipet, Vijayawada, Krishna District.
- Support Centre for Women, & Children, Devi Chowk, Rajamahendravaram, East Godavari District.
- TEIC Building, Area Hospital, Rampachodavaram, East Godavari District.
In July 2015, we have expanded our work to field level, and working for strengthening the systemic structures for adolescents (boys & girls) empowerment in the mandals of Maddur & Damaragidda of Narayanapet district, Telangana. The project aims to empower the adolescent girls for prevention of early and child marriages and facilitate towards empowerment of girls to make informed choices.
- To develop perspective and capacity building of DWCD functionaries of the selected mandals to look at girls empowerment in a holistic manner.
- To enable the AWWs to build convergence between various institutions/functionaries addressing girls issues, viz., girls’ health (ASHAs), girls education (SSA and KGBV link) and domestic violence with a view to make the implementing agency realize the value of investing in girls’ agency to prevent domestic violence.
- To give this a bottom up push and community support by building linkages and networks with Anganwadi center, ASHA worker, MahilaSamathaSanghams, IKP groups and schools in the selected area.
- To address girls’ needs in the context of helpline.
Bhumika is engaged in counselling the offenders (committing public harassment/sexual violence) caught by SHE Teams. SHE teams is an initiative of Telangana Police Department to put a check on public harassment and ensure safety and protection to women and girls in the state of Telangana. The counselling is being conducted in the office of Police Commissioner Cyberabad and Rachakonda divisions on every Saturday
One Stop Centres (OSC) 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, honour related crimes, acid attacks or witch-hunting who have reached out or been referred to the OSC will be provided with specialized services. In Karimnagar District (November 2017) and Rajanna Siricilla (October 2019) of Telangana state, Bhumika have been given the responsibility of managing the Sakhi Centre through Women Development and Child Welfare in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad and empanelled through the District Collector.
Bhumika has expanded its scope of work to the state of Andhra Pradesh very recently, from 1st November, 2017 with the support of Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, with major thrust on ending violence against girls and women. In collaboration with State Police Department, Bhumika is establishing Special Cells for Women and Children (Support Centres) within the premises of Police Stations – one in Mahila Rakshana Kendram. Mahila Police Station, Labbipet, Vijayawada, other in Devi chowk, Rajamahendravaram and the other centre is located in area Hospital, Rampachodavaram to support the survivors of violence approaching the Police Stations. We also envisage working with the community in Urban slums and also in some Educational Institutions to make aware and sensitize the community and the students for a violence free society. Free legal guidance and free psychiatric help is being provided to the distress women in need. In Vijayawada, Bhumika in collaboration with the Vijayawada Police is engaged in operation of the Helpline located in Disha Police Station.
Bhumika is involved in functioning of a Support Centre in collaboration with Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) and Integrated Child Protection Scheme of the Department of Women Development and Child Welfare (ICPS-WCD) in Rampachodavaram, East Godavari district and addressing the issues of violence against children and women in the down trodden tribal villages.
Bhumika has started working with the Mahila Samakhya Federations from 2018 in the erstwhile Karimnagar district, with the objective to strengthen the grassroots women’s federations while mobilising the adolescent collectives. As part of the sanghas and the ferderations were strengthened and revived. Workshops and sessions in the educations institutions were held with the adolescents and youth members respectively. The federation leaders became very active and had build rapport with the officials and institutions at mandal and district level and aim to take forward the feminist movement by raising their voices.
Bhumika has established two Skill Training Centers in Hyderabad (Baghlingampally & Saroornagar) to provide skill-based computer training to the young women and men. These centers also act as the forums for the young women and men to collectivise, sensitize on gender issues, educate on their rights, responsibilities and citizenship and facilitate the evolution of young leadership in the urban communities. 121 youth were trained in 4 batches. Out of the total trainees, 96 got job placements and they are supporting their families
Bhumika was active in supporting the stagnant guest migrants return to their homes at Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Pune with dignity. Bhumika has arranged buses, food, water and other essential facilities to the guests of about 520 members. A building (school) was taken to provide shelter and other facilities to the guest workers who could not go to their villages and got stuck around the Secunderabad Railway Station. It has collaborated with the WCD and police department in providing support to the guest migrants.
Besides, Bhumika has distributed dry ration kits, sanitary essentials and nutrition supplements were provided to more than 9,874 households in both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh (in the years 2020 & 2021). As part of building resilience through food security and combat the effect of reverse migration, Bhumika has provided support to 11 women’s collectives at Karimnagar for collective farming. Further, 9,600 people were provided with hand sanitizers and face masks; 54 trainees of Nipuna were vaccinated with Covishield; 10 women were provided with sustainable livelihood facility (vegetable carts, tailoring machines, etc). Particularly in Narayanapet district, pulse oxymeters and digital thermometers were donated to 70 village panchayats; announcement mikes were presented to 40 village panchayats along with printed posters on COVID precautions; and in mandal primary health centres, oxygen concentrators were offered to the health department. These were contributed by Bhumika with the support from various funding agencies.
In October 2020, Bhumika started a unique initiative of mobile library on the remembrance and benefaction from Abburi Chayadevi, a renowned feminist writer and Sahitya academy award winner in Telugu. The ‘Abburi Chayadevi Mobile Library’ is started with the objective of promoting joy of reading among the children in the basthis, who lack the luxury of affording a book. The library goes to each basthi everyday where it will be halted for 3 hours. Children and other enthusiastic readers come and read the books. The mobile library is equipped with nearly 1,000 books in different languages across all genres.
Bhumika is an active member in various other organizations of both Government departments and Non-Government Organisations in both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Through these platforms, Bhumika is spreading its expertise in sensitizing the stakeholders towards perspective building and promoting gender equality.
- Bhumika is an external/NGO member in Internal Complaints Committee constituted under protection of women from sexual harassment at workplace Act, 2013 in: South Central Railways, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, Food Corporation- DWCD, BITS Pilani, Central Industrial Security Force Academy (Hyderabad), CDAC, ACDS, Clean Harbors, Cherec International School, NTR Trust & Heritage Foods, Sam Agritech Limited, BHEL, Doctors Without Boarders, Film Development Corporation, State Bank of India, and DGP office – Andhra Pradesh.
- Member in the Senior Citizen Welfare Committee of Department of Women Development, Child Welfare and Senior Citizens, Telangana.
- Local Complaints Committee in the office of District Collector, Ranga Reddy District, Telangana.