Shireen J Jejeebhoy and  K G Santhya


In India, 29% of women aged 15–49 have experienced marital violence. Although crisis centres, known as helplines, exist to support those who experience violence, little is known about the experiences of women who use these services.


Two rounds of surveys of 200 women who approached the government-sponsored helplines, conducted about four months apart, reveal that physical and sexual violence perpetrated by husbands and/or family members fell significantly in the inter-survey period. Women were also less likely to report suicidal thoughts and many reported a sense of economic security, happiness, self-confidence, and peace of mind. These findings underscore the importance of facilities offering women a haven in which they may learn about their options, have access to empathetic advocates, and secure support for addressing the violence they face at home.


The authors gratefully acknowledge the support and funding of the United Kingdom Department for International Aid, the Bihar state government, and helpline authorities for their support in conducting the assessment. They are grateful to Ann Blanc, Thoai Ngo, Mamta Kohli, Nel Druce, and Madhuri Das for insightful comments on the analyses; to Santosh Kumar Singh for managing the fieldwork; to Komal Saxena for her support and assistance in preparing the article; and to Arsee Fatima and Preeti Verma for their dedication and hard work in collecting high-quality data on such a sensitive topic.


Marital violence remains widespread in India, with 29% of women aged 15–49 having experienced physical or sexual violence (IIPS 2016a). Help-seeking for domestic violence is also limited, with only 24% of women who had experienced violence having sought help to end the violence (IIPS and Macro International 2007), a situation that, in turn, reduces women’s ability to prevent further violence. Furthermore, when help is sought, it is rarely sought from institutional sources. Fear of being beaten again, perceptions about the importance of maintaining the integrity of the family, and the low level of awareness about formal support services are common factors that inhibit women from seeking help from institutional sources (Jejeebhoy et al 2013; Shrivastava and Shrivastava 2013; Decker et al 2013).


The literature about help-seeking, in general, has affirmed that it is only when a problem is seen as undesirable and unresolvable without help from others that women will consider seeking help. Likewise, there is a close association between the severity of violence and help-seeking (Liang et al 2005). Help-seeking progresses from seeking informal support from family and friends to more public help-seeking as violence worsens. Indeed, in patriarchal settings such as India, women report incidents of violence and seek help only when violence reaches severe levels. For example, in a study of South Asian women living in the United States (US) who had experienced domestic violence, more than half had sought no help and only 5% had contacted a domestic violence programme, and that too only when violence was extremely severe (Raj and Silverman 2007). Also serving as obstacles to formal help-seeking are perceptions of poor quality of help, trivialisation of women’s problems, and limited efforts made by service providers to reach the perpetrator (Liang et al 2005).


Evidence on what works to support women who have experienced violence and reduce their risk of further violence remains mixed. Indeed, a review of evidence on the effectiveness of response mechanisms in preventing violence against women and girls observed that with respect to crisis interventions and/or social sector interventions, there is little evidence of the effectiveness of crisis centres or telephone helplines in preventing further violence. While evidence that sheds light on the effectiveness of couples’ treatment is also sparse, what is available suggests that men have benefited from being part of such counselling. Moreover, the available evidence has focused more on immediate benefits, such as the advice and support that these facilities provide. And while these response mechanisms contribute to the overall survivor support services, evidence of their effectiveness in preventing further violence is unclear (Jewkes 2014). An evaluation of services for women who had experienced domestic violence in Illinois in the US reiterates the mixed findings: although women who sought help through these services obtained important information about violence, gained support and confidence in their ability to make decisions, increased their coping skills and self-efficacy, and reported a greater sense of safety, the overall effects were small (Bennett et al 2004).


India has articulated its commitment to eliminating violence against women and girls through numerous policies, laws, and programmes. For example, the National Policy for the Empowerment of Women, 2001 (MoWCD 2001) and the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005 (Ministry of Law and Justice 2005). Most recently, the National Health Policy has made specific reference to supporting women in distress. It stipulates that public hospitals are to be made more women-friendly, that staff are to be oriented to be more gender-sensitive, and that healthcare for those who have experienced violence is to be “provided free and with dignity in the public and private sector” (MoHFW 2017). Programmes have also been implemented to support women who have experienced domestic violence.


Evidence about the experiences of women taking advantage of these acts and policies is sparse. A recent review of the court records of the PWDVA cases in Haryana’s high court underscores women’s lack of awareness about their rights under the act, their reluctance to approach courts in cases of domestic violence, and the failure of the judicial system to provide speedy justice to those who do approach courts. Indeed, of the 970 cases perused, 363 were withdrawn before the final orders were passed and 163 were dismissed because the women who had filed the cases opted not to make the required court appearances (Sakhrani et al 2017). Far more women seek help from informal sources, such as their families or from the protection officers who are attached to facilities that support the women in distress.


Broadly, India has two types of facilities—crisis centres and helplines—intended to serve the needs of women in distress. Crisis centres are few in number and are typically located within hospitals. Being situated within a hospital permits the crisis centre to screen and refer women seeking services for any reason, thereby drawing out those who might otherwise hesitate to seek help for domestic violence (UNPF nd). In India, perhaps the best-known facilities that offer services to women who have experienced domestic violence are the Dilaasa crisis centres, which are located within public hospitals (Deosthali et al 2005). Hospital-based crisis centres have also been established in other parts of Maharashtra and in Rajasthan (UNPF nd). These crisis centres provide counselling, legal aid, and referrals for medical help. They also assist women to obtain temporary shelter and support them in drawing up safety plans, acquiring economic independence, and in regaining their self-confidence. Dilaasa centres have, for example, supported over 2,000 women (Deosthali et al 2005; UNPF nd).


More widely available in India are district-level helplines established by the government across the country. These helplines are not telephone-based as the name suggests. Instead, they comprise independent centres housed outside of health facilities and, in this sense, function like crisis centres rather than telephone hotlines.1 A helpline is managed by a protection officer, as required under the PWDVA, 2005 (Ministry of Law and Justice 2005). The protection officer is appointed by the state to serve as the liaison between the women seeking help and the services available to them, such as shelter, counselling, legal aid, and healthcare. As independent facilities, helplines have several advantages over hospital-based crisis centres. For example, many women experiencing violence, notably those experiencing emotional violence or those enduring physical or sexual violence without obvious injuries, may not seek help at a healthcare facility. The helpline may be more likely to be perceived as appropriate for women who have experienced such violence and are seeking reconciliation, maintenance, or help in accessing and navigating the judicial system.


Although programme statistics suggest that health facility-based crisis centres and helplines serve a large number of women, the effectiveness of these centres in preventing further violence and improving women’s well-being has not been studied. To address these evidence gaps, we conducted research to explore whether women’s use of services offered by helplines for those experiencing marital violence had succeeded in reducing the violence they faced. We also studied whether it helped in improving their overall well-being, including their economic security, happiness, physical and mental health, and the resolution of their claims on family assets. Data is drawn from a study conducted in 2014–15 of women seeking the services of government-run centres. The study was conducted as part of a larger programme of research intended to identify successful approaches for reducing violence against women.




The study was located in selected districts of Bihar, India’s second largest state, comprising a population of 104.1 million, that is, 9% of its population (Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India 2013). Bihar was specifically selected because it is a state in which women’s agency is very limited and marital violence is most widespread (43% versus 29% in India as a whole). While 53% of women in India own and operate a bank account, just 26% of those in Bihar do so. In terms of social and health indicators, Bihar lags behind the rest of India. The overall literacy rate in Bihar is 64%, compared to the national average of 74%. The prevalence of child marriage is also higher in Bihar than in any other state in the country: 39% of 20–24-year-old women were married before the age of 18 in 2015–16, compared to 27% in India. Moreover, childbearing is initiated early: 12% of girls aged 15 to 19 years were already mothers or pregnant at the time of the survey, compared to 8% nationwide (IIPS 2016a, 2016b).


In reporting our findings, we respect the undertaking provided to the authorities who permitted us to conduct our study under the condition that its findings would not be presented in a way that identified the districts in which it was conducted. The helplines under study were fairly typical of district-level facilities across the state and served an average of 200–300 clients per year. All facilities were located in district headquarter towns and therefore attract a largely urban clientele.


Helplines are typically managed by two–three protection officers and counsellors. During the initial visit, women met a counsellor and filed an application, in which they recorded their experiences and described the kind of support they sought. In this patriarchal setting, it is no surprise that in most cases, women approached the helpline to seek help in arriving at reconciliation with their husbands or family members and not for prosecution of the perpetrators. Hence, the practice of the helpline is to call for a meeting of both the perpetrator party and the complainant, and make efforts in the course of this and subsequent meetings and/or home visits to arrive at a compromise and to extract an undertaking from the perpetrator to desist from further perpetration of violence. Where compromise is either not possible or not perceived to be in the woman’s interest, the helpline supports them in seeking the services of the police and the courts.




Study design: The study involved repeated surveys with women who accessed the services of the helplines. An initial survey as well as a follow-up were conducted among married women aged 18 to 49 years who had sought the services of a helpline centre during the recruitment period (March–December 2014). The first interview took place at the time of their initial visit, that is, after they had registered their complaint or in the subsequent month, before any intervention services were initiated.2 The follow-up interview was conducted approximately four months after the first interview, so as to assess women’s experiences in the intervening period. The four-month period was selected for two reasons: helpline authorities maintained that they typically closed women’s files within an average of three to four months, prompting us to maintain a similar interval; it also helped minimise concerns about outmigration and the consequent loss to follow-up.3


The initial and follow-up interviews adopted an almost identical instrument. They focused on the woman’s history of physical, sexual, and emotional violence within her marriage, and physical and/or emotional violence perpetrated by a family member/s, including the perceived cause/s of violence, the reasons that may have inhibited her from seeking timely help, her help-seeking experiences, her experiences of violence-related injuries, the husband’s alcohol abuse pattern, and the quality of helpline services obtained. Each time, we also probed women’s perceptions of their economic security and overall well-being, and at the time of the follow-up interview, we enquired into the quality of services received and the perceived changes in their experience of violence and overall well-being in the intervening period. This design enabled us to explore the effectiveness of the available services in responding to the needs of women facing domestic violence and in reducing the occurrence of repeat violence.


Interviewers approached all women who attended the helpline for the first time, informed them about the survey and requested them to participate. Women were considered eligible for the study if they: were married, were aged 18 to 49 years, and had approached the helpline to resolve issues relating to emotional, physical, or sexual violence experienced within the home. Of the eligible women approached, none refused to participate and we interviewed a total of 200 women in the first round. All initial interviews were conducted on the helpline premises.


For the follow-up survey, while efforts were made to contact as many women as possible who had been interviewed for the initial survey and had consented to be re-contacted for the follow-up, many women had changed their contact numbers and could not be reached, and some refused to be re-interviewed. Of the 200 women interviewed in the first interview, 85% (N=169) were interviewed the second time. For the follow-up interviews, women were given the option of selecting the location. The majority (136) opted to return to the facility and the remaining (33) were interviewed in their homes or at a location of their choice. Of the 169 women who were followed-up, 15 reported no contact with the facility after their initial visit, while 154 women had returned and received its services (77% of the baseline sample). In this article, we describe the situation at first visit of all the women who sought helpline services. Then, we explore the changes in the lives of the 154 women who reported any contact with the helpline in the period between the first and follow-up interviews: over the phone, through a visit to the helpline, or through a home visit from a helpline counsellor.4 The Population Council’s Institutional Review Board approved the protocol for this study.


Variables: We included a number of measures related to violence and well-being as outcome indicators. To measure women’s experience of violence, we explored whether they had experienced emotional, physical, and/or sexual violence perpetrated by their husbands, and emotional and/or physical violence perpetrated by any other family members in the month preceding the initial interview and in the period between the initial and follow-up interviews. To measure women’s well-being, we explored, at the time of the follow-up interview, whether in the period between the two interviews, they had become more economically secure, happier, healthier, better able to care for their families, and more confident about dealing with day-to-day matters. Finally, we explored whether these women had contemplated suicide around the time of the two interviews.


Analysis: We compared the prevalence of each outcome among the women at the time of the initial and follow-up interviews. Survey data was entered in CSPro (Census and Survey Processing System) 4.0 and analysed using STATA 11. The analysis is entirely descriptive. It sheds light on the trajectories of violence leading up to a woman’s first visit to the helpline and the extent to which the woman experienced a satisfactory resolution of her problem and a cessation of violence.




Background characteristics: The surveyed women were overwhelmingly Hindu (91%). Almost as many (84.5%) belonged to socially disadvantaged castes (Table 1). The majority of the surveyed women lived in households that had electricity (86.5%), most had access to a flush toilet (75%) and piped water (90%), and owned a television set (69.5%). The mean score on the household economic status index was nine (of a maximum possible score of 18), suggesting that most households these women belonged to fell into the middle-household wealth quintiles.


Women who sought helpline services tended to be young: half of them 49.5% were aged 18 to 24 years. Over four in five (83%) women had attended school, 44% had completed secondary school, and on average, they had attained eight years of schooling. Wage work was reported by 34% of women at the time of seeking helpline support. The agency of women was limited: while four in five women (80%–81%) reported that they had the freedom to visit friends or a health centre outside their neighbourhood unescorted, just one-third (35%) were involved in household-level decisions such as the purchase of major household goods. Self-efficacy was also limited: as many as two-thirds (67%–68%) stated that they often or sometimes found it difficult to express their opinion to their husband and others. Almost half (46.5%) had started cohabiting with their husband before they had turned 18. They had, on average, 1.5 children. Potential sources of stress were evident: almost all had paid a dowry at the time of their marriage (97%) and more than two in five of these women reported that their marital family was not at all satisfied with the amount of dowry brought (43.5%). In addition, about one-quarter were childless (25%) and almost half did not have a living son (49%), both of which are likely sources of stress in a setting in which a woman’s security in her marital home is defined by her ability to bear children, particularly sons.


Violence Prior to Seeking Helpline Support


All the women who contacted the helpline had suffered domestic violence in the course of their married lives, perpetrated either by their husbands or other family members. Emotional violence perpetrated by the husband and other family members was reported by 90.5% and 89% of the women, respectively, physical violence perpetrated by the husband and members of his family was reported by 86% and 68.5%, respectively, and sexual violence perpetrated by the husband was reported by 69.5% (Table 2).


As is evident from Table 3 (p 45), many had tolerated the violence until it became too severe or threatened their security in their marital homes. Indeed, 78% had first experienced violence more than a year ago and almost one-half (46%) had their first such experience five or more years ago. Moreover, of those who had been subjected to physical violence by their husbands, three-quarters (76.2%) reported that they were regularly beaten and over four in five reported that the frequency (82.6%) and severity (80.8%) of violence had increased over time. Many women attributed their experience of violence to the marital family’s dissatisfaction with the dowry they had brought (38%), the husband’s lack of respect for them (29%), and the husband’s alcohol abuse (35%). Other reasons included money problems (17%), the husband’s extramarital liaisons—expressed as a desire to leave the respondent and/or enter into a second marriage (19%–20%)—and the conflict caused by his extramarital relationship (16%) (not shown in the table).


Women delayed seeking help largely for sociocultural reasons: because the experience was “not so bad” (66.8%), because revealing the violence would affect the family’s honour (60.3%), because violence was “normal” and all women suffer it (26.6%), and because revealing the violence could affect their children’s future (41.2%). At the same time, a large proportion of the women reported a lack of awareness of helpline services (43.7%) and/or the location of these facilities (59.3%).


Expectations from the helpline focused largely on reconciliation. Two in three women (67%) sought reconciliation and an end to violence, and 10% sought reconciliation with their husbands and the establishment of a separate residence away from in-laws. Others sought maintenance or financial support (23.5%) and just a few sought support in initiating divorce proceedings (7.5%).


Helpline Intervention


The analysis presented in this section focuses on 154 women who reported at the follow-up interview that they had made contact with the helpline at least once after their first interview. Most of these women reported efforts towards reconciliation or maintenance, including joint reconciliation meetings (72.7%). In a few cases, notably those for whom reconciliation was not an option, the counsellor had discussed obtaining a divorce, going to the police or court, or shifting to a short stay home (13%), or informed women about the linkages the helpline had with the police, legal aid, and shelters (11.7%). Several women had requested assistance from the helpline in acquiring economic support or assets that were due to them from their husbands or family members. While offering support in acquiring these assets from their families is not a formal responsibility of the helpline, in many cases, helpline counsellors helped women with this task. Among those making such requests, the interviews indicated that, since the first interview, the helpline had helped 26.5% in obtaining economic support and 20.3% in identifying assets to which they were entitled. Further, 32.9% of them had succeeded in or were in the process of obtaining access to these assets (Table 4).


Effects of Helpline Intervention


Changes in the prevalence of violence experienced: In order to assess the changes in the prevalence of the violence experienced by the respondents, we compared the percentage of women who reported experiences of violence committed against them by their husband and other family member/s in the month before their first helpline visit—as reported at the first interview—with their reports of violence experienced in the period between the first and follow-up interviews—as reported in their follow-up interview (Table 5, p 46).


Table 5 shows that the prevalence of emotional violence remained virtually unchanged between the month before their first interview at the helpline and four months later, irrespective of whether the perpetrator was the husband (76.6% and 74%, respectively) or other family members (52.6% and 46.8%, respectively). In contrast, the prevalence of physical violence had declined significantly, from 44.2% to 28.6% with regard to physical violence perpetrated by the husband, and from 26% to 11% with regard to physical violence perpetrated by other family members. Finally, the prevalence of sexual violence perpetrated by the husband also declined significantly, from 27.9% to 9.7% in the period between the first and follow-up interviews.


In order to assess individual-level changes in the experience of violence, we also explored the violence-related experiences of individual women as reported in their first and follow-up interviews. Table 6 confirms that violence had stopped in the period between the first and follow-up interviews for considerable proportions of women, far more in the case of physical and sexual violence than emotional violence, and much more in the case of family members as perpetrators than husband as the perpetrator. For example, with regard to violence perpetrated by the husband, 11.7% had reported the experience of emotional violence at the time of the first interview, but not around the time of the follow-up. Corresponding percentages were 24.7 and 20.1 with regard to physical and sexual violence, respectively. In the case of violence perpetrated by family members, 20.7% had reported the experience of both emotional and physical violence at the time that they sought helpline support, but reported that they no longer experienced such violence by the time of the follow-up interview. In other words, of those who had reported the experience of emotional, physical, and sexual violence perpetrated by their husband, 15%, 56%, and 72%, respectively, of them no longer experienced it by the time of the follow-up interview. Of those who had experienced emotional and physical violence perpetrated by a family member, 40% and 80%, respectively, reported in the follow-up interview that they no longer experienced such violence.


We acknowledge, however, that some women who had not experienced a particular form of violence at the time they sought helpline support, did so in the period preceding the follow-up interview. For example, for 9.1% and 16.6% of women, emotional violence from their husband and other family member/s, respectively, had begun after they had registered their complaint at the helpline. For 9.1% and 6.5%, physical violence by the husband and family members, respectively, had been initiated in this period. In addition, 1.9% reported that sexual violence perpetrated by their husband had been initiated in the period between the two interviews. Even so, on balance, the findings in Table 6 reiterate that fewer women fell into this group than those who fell into the group reporting cessation of physical violence perpetrated by their husband and/or family members, and sexual violence perpetrated by their husband. Differences between the two groups with regard to emotional violence were narrow.


Overall Well-being


Between one-third and two-fifths of all women reported that they were better off after seeking help from the helpline: 40.9% were happier, 34.4% reported improvement in their health, 30.5% were better able to care for their family, 35.7% each were more confident about dealing with day-to-day matters and had more peace of mind, and almost one-quarter (23.4%) stated that their economic situation had improved (Table 7, p 47).


Furthermore, suicidal thoughts were less likely to be reported at the follow-up interview than at the first interview. Indeed, while 53% of women reported having had suicidal thoughts when first interviewed, this percentage had reduced significantly—to 18.2%—by the time of the follow-up interview. Indeed, some 40.3% of all women had seriously contemplated suicide when they first visited the helpline, but no longer harboured such thoughts at follow-up.




In general, the available evidence has focused on the services provided by crisis centres rather than on whether crisis centre intervention resulted in changes in women’s lives and their experience of further violence (Jewkes 2014). The few studies that have examined the effects of crisis centre interventions have concluded that the interventions did indeed enhance women’s awareness of their legal and other options, helped build rapport with them, and boost their self-confidence and coping skills (Bennett et al 2004). Our study has gone further, by exploring the extent to which women who approached the helpline to obtain relief from the emotional, physical, and/or sexual violence they were experiencing were better off in terms of further violence and general well-being.


Our findings establish that women seeking helpline services do so largely after experiencing a prolonged period of violence, when the frequency and severity of the violence experienced becomes unbearable. In this patriarchal setting in which female agency is so limited, most women recognised that seeking separation or establishing an independent residence was not a practical option. Hence, despite their experience of violence, the vast majority sought services only to reach reconciliation with—and a cessation of violence by—their husbands or other family members. Respecting their choice, services provided largely comprised efforts aimed at achieving a compromise via mediation by helpline counsellors. In just a few cases did the services extend to support in obtaining police or legal aid. Our findings reinforce those of a recent study of women who had filed court cases under the PWDVA, 2005, which found that women approached the court only after other help-seeking mechanisms had failed, while many others who experienced judicial delays decided not to pursue their cases, and instead sought and received help from protection officers to arrive at a reconciliation (Sakhrani et al 2017).


Our findings with regard to effects are mixed. We acknowledge that the prevalence of emotional violence showed no perceptible change in the four to five month period between the time the woman first sought support and our follow-up interview. In contrast, evidence shows that helpline intervention resulted in a significant decline in the prevalence of physical violence perpetrated by the husband and/or other family members, and in sexual violence perpetrated by the husband within a short period of four to five months following their first visit to the helpline. Changes in individual experiences of violence tell a similar story: between one-tenth and one-fifth of women who had reported the experience of emotional violence at the time they first sought helpline services reported no such violence in the inter-survey period. At the same time,


between one-fifth and one-quarter of women who had reported the experience of physical and sexual violence, respectively, at the time they first sought helpline services, reported no violence in the inter-survey period. Disturbingly, a considerable proportion of women who had not experienced emotional violence at the time of their initial visit and a small proportion of those who had experienced physical and/or sexual violence, respectively, at the time of their initial visit, had done so in the inter-survey period.


This raises the possibility that for some women, help-seeking may have precipitated violence. The finding that helpline support was more successful in reducing physical and sexual violence than in reducing emotional violence may be attributed to the fact that counselling and services tend to focus disproportionately on stopping physical—and to a lesser extent sexual—violence. Indeed, an undertaking is typically taken from the perpetrator, promising to desist from further perpetration of such violence; emotional violence is rarely included in this undertaking.


Between one in five and two in five women reported improvements in their economic situation, health, peace of mind, happiness, ability to care for their families, and confidence in dealing with the day-to-day matters. Suicidal thoughts, moreover, declined significantly, from more than half to about one in six at the time of the first and follow-up interviews, respectively.


Our study has a number of limitations. We acknowledge that although our sample covered all women who had experienced domestic violence and had approached the helpline during the period of our study, it may not be representative of women at large who experience violence. We deliberately sought to obtain the perspective of women, but acknowledge that triangulating findings together with the case reports (not done for ethical reasons) of the helpline may have provided deeper insights. Moreover, our follow-up was conducted approximately four months following the woman’s first visit to the helpline. It is not clear whether the terms of the agreement, particularly with regard to the cessation of violence, would be respected even after a longer duration and particularly after helpline staff members no longer conduct home visits. We also caution that the reduction in violence experienced by women in the period between the two interviews may not be attributed entirely to the intervention of the helpline. Rather, it may also have occurred because of a shift in women’s circumstances with or without the help of the helpline staff.


Nevertheless, our findings provide a strong rationale for offering the women in distress a safe space in which they may learn about their options, have access to an empathetic advocate who will support them in arriving at a decision on the way forward, and secure support for addressing the violence they face in the home. The study results—particularly the reported declines in violence and improvements in well-being observed at follow-up—should convey the importance of providing such services in the public sector. Several programme implications emerge. First, our findings call for more efforts to inform women at the community-level about the availability of such services and their right to access them, as well as the positive consequences of professional intervention. Second, our findings reiterating the overwhelming desire for reconciliation rather than legal recourse are a reflection of women’s powerlessness and limited options outside of marriage. This situation calls for more stringent post-intervention follow-up, as well as the appropriate infrastructure and environment to support women to acquire skills, livelihood opportunities, and social protection so that they may become independent from a violent domestic situation. The reality that—despite the currently available laws, policies, and programmes focused on preventing violence against women and girls—marital violence will continue to characterise the lives of large proportions of women in India, underscores the need for programmes that support and address the multiple vulnerabilities of women who face violence in their marital homes.


Shireen J Jejeebhoy ( is an independent researcher based in Mumbai. K G Santhya ( is a senior associate with Population Council, New Delhi.

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