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A Protector of Children and Women

Under the guidance of IPS Officer Swati Lakra, Telangana is providing a safe environment for women and children by taking up several initiatives. Some of these have been lauded by the Supreme Court of India.
Indian Masterminds Stories

IPS officer Ms Swati Lakra has taken several steps for the support and protection of women and children in Telangana. One such measure is `Bharosa Centre’, which comes to the aid of girls, women and children who have been the victims of rape and sexual abuse.

A 1995-batch officer, Ms. Lakra is posted as the Additional Director General of Police Women Safety in Telangana. Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Ms. Lakra explained how the `Bharosa Centre’ operates.

BHAROSA CENTERS

The concept behind Bharosa Center was established in May 2016 at Hyderabad, as a Society for Protection of Women and Children, with logistic help, funding and support from the Department of Women and Child Development, Telangana.

Ms. Lakra said, “This initiative is taken for girls, women and children who are victims of rape and child sexual abuse. After the crime is committed, the victim has to go the court, police station and hospital as per the procedures. All this is like re-victimization for them. Therefore, we thought if we had all these things under one roof, then the victim goes through the necessary legal processes in a good environment. This is how the concept of Bharosa Center came about and we started in Hyderabad initially. But it is now being replicated in all the districts of Telangana.”

Bharosa Centre

Assistance is provided in an integrated manner through a slew of police, medical, legal, and prosecution services, apart from psychotherapeutic counselling. A lady police officer at Bharosa helps clients who requires police assistance in filing an FIR and follows up with the concerned police station. She also records the required 161 Cr.P.C statement for all rape and POCSO Act cases.

Apart from Hyderabad and Vikarabad Bharosa Centres, new centers at Warangal and Sangareddy districts have started functioning, and Centres are also under construction in Nalgonda, Suryapet, Medchalmalkajgiri, Khammam, Old City (Hyderabad), Cyberabad, and Rachakonda (Under Safe City project)

CHILD FRIENDLY COURT

“Normally, for recording the statement of the magistrate under the 164 Cr. P.C statement, the child had to visit the court. But to solve this inconvenience, we took up another initiative of setting up a Child-Friendly Court, in which the Metropolitan Sessions Judge of Hyderabad agreed to record the statement via video conferencing by the magistrate or at the Child-Friendly Court at Bharosa center,’’ Ms. Lakra said. This Child-Friendly Court was inaugurated on 7th April 2018 by Justice Madan B Lokur, Hon’ble Justice, Supreme Court of India.

Child Friendly Court

Ms. Lakra also mentioned that “The Hon’ble Supreme Court in one of its judgments, Nipun Saxena vs Union of India, recognized the Bharosa Hyderabad and said that such one-stop center should be replicated across the country. It was a huge recognition for us and the Supreme Court even sent a panel to study our Bharosa Centre and the Child-Friendly Court.”

OTHER INITIATIVES

Ms. Lakra is also instrumental in setting up the Women’s Safety Wing in Telangana. Several modules are functional under the Wing, such as Hawk-Eye mobile application, Facial Recognition Software ‘DARPAN’ App, Girl/Women safety clubs, anti-human trafficking units, etc. Several awareness campaigns were also launched for tackling cybercrime in the state during the Covid 19 pandemic.

CybHer campaign

ACHIEVEMENTS OF IPS OFFICER SWATI LAKRA

In her 25 years of service as an IPS officer, Mr. Lakra served at various positions.

With her extraordinary qualities and good governance in the public administration, she has been awarded the Distinguished Humphrey Leadership Award for the 21st Century by the Government of the United States of America in 2017. She has also been conferred with the Indian Police Medal 2011, State Excellence Award by the Government of Telangana in 2018, Women Achiever Award by FICCI in 2018, and many more awards.


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