In a bid to ensure speedy service to people (especially women) in distress, the Modi government is all set to roll out a facility that allows a person to send an immediate alert to the police and loved ones through a gentle long press of the digit 9 on your existing mobile phone.
The alert will give the concerned authorities information about the location of the person in distress.
To launch this programme, the government has already roped in handset makers and mobile operators.
In future handsets, the volume buttons, when pressed together, will act as the trigger.
The initiative is a brainchild of women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi.
There was confusion over whether to come up with an app or install an extra physical button on the phone.
Since an app was not a practical solution as a large number of mobile phones in rural areas are basic phones, it was decided that for the existing handsets, telecom service providers will provide an up-grade. For smartphones the software patch can be downloaded online, but for basic handsets the software companies will install it for free.
An upgrade will configure the phone accordingly so that each time the digit 9 is pressed, an alert is sent to the police.
Speaking on safety measures for women and the growing rate of crime crime against them, Maneka Gandhi has said that a number of steps had been taken to empower them and tackle the challenges facing them.
The minister cited measures, including having special police volunteers in every village, women’s helplines in states and panic buttons in mobiles, being taken in this regard.
Recently, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said setting up of Investigative Units on Crimes Against Women (IUCAWs) in 2015 to expedite probe into crimes against women was an indicative of the Narendra Modi government’s intention and concern for women’s security.