Bharosa Cell resolves half of its domestic disputes via counselling

Mubarak Ansari
Monday, 25 February 2019

“The services are provided free of cost. If any woman needs protection, we also call the local protection officer for the meeting. In 2018, out 2,944 complaints a total of 2,587 have been resolved, of which 1,283 were through counselling at the cell itself." Inspector Karande said.

PUNE: The pendency of cases in courts takes years to reach a conclusion. However, counselling can resolve them in a few meetings. 

The Women’s Grievance Redressal Cell of Pune City Police, which has now come under the umbrella of Bharosa Cell or Cops Hub to provide comprehensive services to women, children and senior citizens, has solved almost half of the disputes between couples or their domestic issues through counselling. Bharosa Cell is the brainchild of Police Commissioner Dr K Venkatesham, and it is functioning at the Commissioner’s Office near GPO.  Police Inspector Vijaya Karande, who is heading the Women’s Cell, said there is a dedicated team of 10 police personnel, besides seven counsellors, four lawyers and one psychiatrist.

“The services are provided free of cost. If any woman needs protection, we also call the local protection officer for the meeting. In 2018, out 2,944 complaints a total of 2,587 have been resolved, of which 1,283 were through counselling at the cell itself. Most cases were related to dispute between husband and wife, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law,” Inspector Karande said. 

The officer said, “Out of 2,944 complaints received at the cell last year, 966 were sent to the local police stations where either FIRs are registered or cases are resolved through counselling. There were also 338 cases  in which the couples went to family court or they already had divorce cases pending.”

According to the police officials, whenever a complaint comes, it is sent to a group which includes a police officer, legal advisor (lawyer), counsellor, who meet the complainant and then call her husband and in-laws as per the complaints.

“We counsel them and people understand. Most of the times it is behaviour of the wife or mother-in-law which is the bone of contention, then there are misunderstandings, extra-marital affairs as well as child custody issues. A little adjustment and making promises (not to be broken) to bring change in behavior, has helped in resolving the cases. Many times the couples need a break also. We advise them to leave girlfriend, boyfriend and that has also helped in many cases. So we look at a particular, customised solution for the same,” she added. 

Under the new Bharosa Cell, which was inaugurated on January 9 this year, a psychiatrist has been emapanelled who interacts with complainants (if required) on weekly basis. The cops have also tie-up with Sassoon Hospital to provide medical support if required.

SOME CASE STUDIES
- A 22-year-old woman wanted to commit suicide as her boyfriend refused to marry her after three years’ relationship. It was found that the man had some misunderstanding and thought she had an affair with someone else. The cops counselled them and within a few days they called from the marriage registrar office, located near the Police Commissioner’s Office, informing them about their marriage.
- A 45-year-old woman’s sister was undergoing treatment at a private hospital with aid from a private institution but its manager was not co-operating. She went to Mangaldas police chowki (Koregaon Park police station) under whose jurisdiction the hospital is located, but the police there didn’t entertain her. She approached Bharosa Cell and the manager of the institution was called for counselling following which the woman’s sister got aid for free medical treatment.

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