Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has requested Home Minister Rajnath Singh to launch the panic button scheme for women security across the country at the earliest after successful trials in Uttar Pradesh.
Maneka Gandhi in a tweet said, “I am happy to inform that the user trial of panic button on mobile handsets has been successfully completed in 47 districts/locations of Uttar Pradesh, including rural areas.”
The first trial was conducted in Delhi but was unsuccessful due to prank calls. The ministry on January 26 had relaunched the trial of the panic button feature on mobile phones with real-time police response.
In April 2016, the project was taken up with the Department of Telecommunications making it mandatory for mobile phone manufacturers to provide panic buttons in cell phones by January 2017. The numeric key 5 or 9 will serve as a panic button to make emergency calls in basic phones and an app will be used on smartphones.
— NDTV (@ndtv) October 4, 2018
After successful trial in rural and urban areas, Maneka Gandhi informed that, “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.”
The Women and Child Development ministry is eagerly seeking the implementation of the provision of a panic button on all mobile handsets to ensure safety of women.
The panic button feature on mobile handsets will provide emergency response to women in distress. It sends an SMS alert to the nearest police control room, registered close family members or friends and nearby volunteers on pressing the panic button. The location of the mobile of the woman in distress is also sent via the global positioning system (GPS).
In January this year, the road ministry also announced that all taxis, buses and public transport vehicles, barring three-wheelers and e-rickshaws, will have to install location tracking device or GPS and an alert button from April 1.