Maharashtra government launches free night drops for women
Police launched a free night pick-and-drop for women in Ludhiana in 2019
Several social media users are circulating a graphic, claiming that the Maharashtra government has launched a “free-ride scheme”, where women can call 24X7 police helpline numbers to ask for a vehicle that will drop them safely at home, any time between 10pm and 6am. We received this claim on our Whatsapp tipline (9999499044), too, requesting it to be fact-checked.
Newschecker analysed the graphic and found the language to be grammatically incorrect at various places, raising our doubts on the authenticity. We then ran a keyword search for “Maharashtra government free ride scheme woman”, which did not throw up any credible reports of such a scheme.
We ran a keyword search for the helpline number mentioned in the graphic (7837018555), which led us to this Hindustan Times report, dated December 1, 2019, titled “Police launch free night pick-and-drop for women in Ludhiana”. According to the report, police commissioner Rakesh Agrawal said, “Any woman not able to get a vehicle to get home between 10pm and 6am can call the police helpline numbers — 112, 1091 and 7837018555 — to request the facility which will be available on all days. A police control room (PCR) van or a station house officer (SHO) vehicle will come and drop her safely to her destination free-of-cost.”
We also came across this Times of India report, dated December 5, 2019, which stated that the two helpline numbers of Ludhiana police — 1091 and 7832018555 — had gone viral then, following which the Ludhiana police received calls from as far off as UP, Maharashtra and Kerala. According to the article, police officers told outstation callers that the helpline numbers were for only the women of Ludhiana.
We reached out to Ludhiana police and will update this article once we receive a response.
The Ludhiana Police’s initiative to provide free rides for women unable to find a cab at night falsely claimed to be a scheme of the Maharashtra government.
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