New Delhi, July 13: Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday urged all the Chief Ministers to appoint adequate Protection Officers (POs) to provide immediate protection and relief to women facing domestic violence.

The Women and Child Development Minister has taken the step to effectively implement the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005.

The Minister said in a statement, “It has come to my notice that in most states, officers of other departments are given this responsibility as an additional charge. Considering the practical situation of how feasible it is for a woman to come out of her home to register a complaint, it is important that we appoint more POs.”

Maneka Gandhi insists on making the details of the POs public so that the aggrieved women can access them easily. The duty of the deputed officers is to extend support to survivors. The Minister also requested that a separate budget is allocated to ensure that the POs functions smoothly. The funds will be used for capacity building for staff and for spreading awareness.

For the convenience of women, Gandhi has asked for a translation of Form IV of the Act into local languages. Form IV of the Act enumerates the rights of the women.

Gandhi added, “Every woman has the right to lead a life free from violence. I urge you to personally initiate action to prevent violence against women and ensure the protection of the rights of women through the effective implementation of the Act.”

(With IANS inputs)