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May have to close rape crisis cell for want of staff salary: DCW

May have to close rape crisis cell for want of staff salary: DCW
The controversy on contractual staff working in the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has become murkier as Member Secretary of the commission appointed by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has refused to release two months’ salary of 62 contractual employees before Diwali. The Anti Corruption Branch (ACB), headed by the LG, has already launched an investigation into the appointments made by the DCW and even Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was questioned on the issue. 

“This Diwali has become black and dark for DCW staff. Entire contractual staffs working for acid attack victims and orphans were not paid two months’ salary. The new member secretary appointed by LG stopped release of the salary,” said Swati Maliwal, Chairperson of DCW. “I am worried that the women helpline 181 and Rape Crisis Cell may soon stop as staff may leave,” she added. Without naming anybody, she further added: “Stop rape in the city not their salaries,” Maliwal also alleged that vested interests are working against her team to stop them from doing their work and vowed that they would never succeed. She also clarified that the contractual staff were appointed as the proposal for regular appointment is pending with the Delhi government. 

In the same breath, Maliwal also alleged that the appointment of Alka Diwan as member secretary of the commission is illegal. “Diwan is VAT Commissioner in the Delhi government and has been assigned the charge as additional responsibility. As per DCW Act, the member secretary should be a full time officer. An officer working with the Delhi government has her loyalty with the government and not the commission,” she argued, alleging that the autonomy of the commission is being compromised. She further blamed Diwan for stalling the process of hiring contractual or regular staff. Giving details of the work done by her team, Maliwal informed DCW that in the past one year has dealt with 11,696 complaints, handled 2.16 lakh calls through its 181 Women Helpline in the past six months. 

According to the DCW, out of 62 only 10 employees earn more than Rs 35,000 per month and the rest get less than Rs 25,000 per month. 
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