Hyderabad: The Telangana Women’s Commission chairperson post is lying vacant for over 17 months now. Wearied of their repeated appeals to the government for a new Chairperson, a group of women and men under the banner ‘Women Commission Matters’ have initiated a Tweetathon demanding Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to appoint a Chairperson for the commission.  The 120 members of the group and supporters will tweet today, January 18 continuously from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

To participate in the Tweetathon, one has to follow the Twitter handle @WomComMatters and retweet their tweets.

Prashanti Annamraju, a member of the group told NewsMeter, “We started the group Women Commission Matters with 10 members. Today there are 120 members in our group. Initially we used to tweet individually from our personal account to the concerned officials and ministers. We also met them, including the acting members of the commission. But those attempts couldn’t make a result. Hence, we decided to come up with this Tweetathon idea. We hope it will create a larger awareness on the importance of a Women Commission.”

The women said though Telangana government has come up with schemes and projects for women, those steps cannot substantiate the functions of a commission.

Spruthy Kolipaka, who initiated the campaign said, “Telangana State Women’s Commission (TSWC) is the only body responsible to make policy recommendations and play the role of a watchdog. Their tasks are clearly elaborated in the Act. It is so unfortunate that despite Women Commission Act’s existence almost 3 decades ago, there is no chairperson till date for the state.”

 “We want the Chief Minister to consider with due diligence and appoint a dynamic leader committed to the cause of women. TSWC is the need of the hour as it can sensitize police and other departments to work in a pro -women manner,” Spruthi added.

Spruthy, who had filed an RTI last year seeking information regarding the functioning of if TSWC said, “There 150+ cases pending with TSWC. No Annual report since the last six years is available. So, it has been difficult to understand what this body has done before.”

After the previous head Tripurana Venkata Ratnam, Telangana has not appointed a chairperson for the commission since July 2018.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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