Swati Maliwal, an AAP Rajya Sabha MP and former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief, has written to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, asking him to examine the Delhi government’s “systematic dismantling” of systems for protecting women and children.

Swati Maliwal writes to Kejriwal: Delhi govt systematically dismantling Delhi Commission for Women |Photo by Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)(Hindustan Times)

In the letter, Swati Maliwal said since her resignation in January 2024, the Delhi government has been destroying systems that she built over her eight-year tenure.

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One of the key issues the AAP MP highlighted is the arbitrary takeover of the commission’s 181 helpline for women and children in distress by the Delhi government. The helpline established and operated by the Commission was taken over by the government and then closed down on July 1. According to Maliwal, “Since over 48 hours, survivors of rape and other crimes have been left without crucial assistance.”

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The former DCW chief also took issue with the cessation of funds to the commission and budget cuts. She claimed that the annual budget has been reduced by 10 crore, and funds have been halted for six months. She also claimed that contractual staff, which forms most of the commission, are being removed, leaving the body unable to function.

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Maliwal also states that there are several vacancies in leadership positions, such as the role of chairperson, which are not being filled, not allowing the Commission to function properly. In her letter, she adds that, the requirement of having one Dalit member at least in an essential position, is not being completed.

“Over the past 8 years, my team and I have painstakingly built the commission from scratch, which has resulted in it becoming the most efficient women’s commission in the country,” she said.

She urged CM Kejriwal to stop the ‘deliberate disintegration’ of the DCW by the Delhi government. She added, “As the Chief Minister of a city infamous as the ‘Rape Capital of the World’, it is crucial to safeguard systems that protect women and girls.”