• New ‘Nirbhaya’ app installs safety alarm on phones, can work even without a SIM

    Women in India acquired a new safety tool on Tuesday, when Union minister Harsh Vardhan released a mobile application named ‘I Feel Safe’ at Delhi University.

    “For centuries, women in India have suffered social strictures and abuse. It is important to change societal mindsets so that every girl of our country receives the respect which is her due and shines in life in her chosen field be it science, engineering, medicine, sports, dance, music or any other field of human endeavour,” said Vardhan, according to ‘PTI’.

    Also read: Towards women safety: 35000 CCTV cameras in 1000 railway stations

    The app is not restricted to Delhi – it works across India on all the mobile networks.

    When downloaded on a smartphone, the app developed by the Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust in association with Mobile Standards Alliance of India, installs a virtual panic button that can be used even if the app itself is not in use, the phone screen is locked, the SIM card has been removed, no WiFi is available, and the user has no data plan. To activate the alarm, smartphone users must press the ‘Safety Ka Power Button’ five times.

    When the safety alarm is set off, the app notifies the user’s emergency contacts with her location, places an automatic call to the national emergency number 100, and tracks the location of user every 30 seconds so that the emergency team can reach her as fast as possible.

    Also read: Panic buttons in handsets: Govt sets Jan 2017 deadline

    Nirbhaya’s mother, Asha Devi, said: “I appreciate the support and motivation that the youth of this country and the government have given to Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust and the cause of Indian women in the last four years. It is my fervent wish that every girl should be able to live a wholesome life and step out of home without the fear of molestation and violence.”

    Nirbhaya is the name given by the media to the young woman whose brutal gangrape on a moving bus in Delhi on the night of 16 December, 2012, set off a massive debate in the country about women’s safety and the nation’s attitude to women.

    Feature Image Credit: BetterIndia.com