‘Women felt inadequately protected in Garo Hills’

SHILLONG, Nov 18: The Committee on Women Empowerment of the Meghalaya Assembly, on Monday said that as per feedbacks received by them during their tour to Garo Hills “women felt inadequately protected by the police in so many agendas.”

Speaking to media persons after meeting senior state government officials to discuss the feedbacks on various issues raised by the public during their tour to Garo Hills, chairperson of the committee, Amapreen Lyngdoh said that in Garo Hills there was no functional women police stations and women cell.

She said that the POCSO was one of the crimes that was actively discussed.

During the committee’s interaction with the police department, the latter pointed out that there were shortcomings since the department was short of women police officers.

The committee also found out that the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and the Maternal Maternity Rate (MMR) in West Garo Hills and East Garo Hills districts were high.

The committee pointed out that as per data available in the last six months there were 140 death of pregnant mothers in West Garo Hills alone.

“We have asked the health department to send plans of action to resolve this problem,” Lyngdoh said.

The chairperson of the committee also said that there was high prevalence of teenage pregnancy and anemia among girls in Garo Hills region.

“The issue of teenage pregnancy by and large leads to the menace of crime against women,” Lyngdoh pointed out.

She also said that awareness campaigns should be organised to discouraged girls from getting pregnant during their teens even as the chairperson added that the committee has asked the health department to come up with a consolidated plan to overcome anemia.

Meanwhile, member, Himalaya Shangpliang speaking on the issue of the Drug Policy, said that the Assembly committee insisted that besides the proposed de-addiction centres in Tura, Jowai and Shillong, the government should also come up with rehabilitation centres in these three places.

“Many can’t afford to get treated in private centres because most of them come from poor background and cannot afford high cost of treatment,” Shangpliang said.

He also pointed out that the Maternity and Child Hospital in Tura which serves the whole of Garo Hills had only 50-beds.

“During the Committee’s visit we found out that here were 96 patents admitted in the hospital,” he added.

Shangpliang also said that there was a need for shelters homes in the state for women who are victims of violence.

Meanwhile, Lyngdoh, the committee chairperson informed that soon they will visit the jails in the state to see the living conditions of the women inmates.

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