Following the trial of the mobile handset panic button across 47 districts of Uttar Pradesh, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh to implement the women security scheme across the country.
Backed by real-time police response, the WCD Ministry had launched the trial of its panic button feature on mobile phones as a safety and security measure for women on January 26 this year.
In a statement on Thursday, Maneka said that the trial — meant to provide emergency response to women in distress — has been successful in rural and urban areas. “The minimum time for police dispatch vans to reach the user site was recorded at 2 minutes, while the maximum time was 26 minutes, and average time was 8 minutes,” she said.
An SMS alert is sent to the nearest police control room, close families members, and nearby volunteers if the panic button is pressed.
These volunteers have been screened and trained by local authorities for dealing with such situations. Using the global positioning system (GPS), the location of the woman in distress is also sent to the recipients of the alert.
The long-pending panic button system was supposed to be functional across the country by January 2016. An earlier trial of the system saw it being misused for prank calls.
Following the recent successful trial, the minister on Thursday said that she has requested the Home Minister to have the system functional across the country.
According to an earlier directive by the Department of Telecommunications to all mobile phone manufacturers, the feature is to be made available in all phones. Users of IOS or Android smartphones can send alerts using a mobile application, while those using a basic phone have to only press the designated key.