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India launches 112 app for women safety

women safety 112 appWhen it comes to safety of a women in India, the country has seen many dreadful incidents occurring in the recent past. However, as the county is moving towards digital transformation, the government of India plans to utilize this trend and take the help of location technology to provide some respite.

On January 19, i.e. on Tuesday, Union home minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to launch the dedicated phone number (112) on the lines of 911 emergency service in the US. An app will also be launched called 112 India app. After the success of UP 100 trials, now pan-India operations are being launched in 14 states and UTs.

112 India app

Primarily meant for women safety, under the Nirbhaya initiative, the project is the joint effort of Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry for Home Affairs. Anyone can download this application and just by pressing a button or just pressing power button thrice, one can initiate call to the state emergency responses. Without making any voice call, the police will automatically reach the victim. It has a unique feature which is called ‘Shout’. Since the police is limited and there is a huge population to cover, any citizen can register with the system as a volunteer. After proper scrutiny and verification, these volunteers will be incorporated in the system.

Explaining on this further, Raghvendra Kumar Dwivedi, State Radio Officer, UP 100 says, “Suppose some volunteer is just 50 meters or 100 meters away from the sufferer, the Shout message will be sent to the nearest volunteer. Using navigation the volunteer can reach to the victim and provide help till the police arrives.”

For non-smartphones, pressing power button thrice will automatically work. In fact, the government of India is mandating all mobile manufacturing company to have this feature so that pressing three times of power button or long press of number 5 and 9 will initiate a call, even voice call to the state emergency response system and location of that mobile will also come as an SMS. This has already been tested with UP 100 and three-rounds of trial has already been done by involving more than 200 volunteers.

Inclusion of Google ELS

Google ELS is being integrated in the service.  “Normally we used location-based services. Telecom service providers would give us the location of the person affected using triangulation method. In this method, more accuracy will be obtained. In rural areas the accuracy will be 4 to 5 km and in urban areas it will be 500 meters. With the help of Google ELS latitude and longitude will be sent to emergency services so that the accuracy of the location comes to 5 to 50 meters. That will definitely reduce our response time,” points out Dwivedi.

Success story of UP 100 with location

In today’s world of mobile, wearable, location-aware, and digitally aware technologies, we are always “on” and always connected. In this ever-connected ecosystem, we have a deeper concept of location; one that is more refined, instantaneous, and even predictive in some cases.

While we talk about digital transformation and geospatial becoming the by-default factor in every day’s life, the best way to define this phenomena is by taking the example of UP Dial 100. ‘Location technology can save lives and this has been adequately proved by UP Dial 100.

In last 25 months of its operations, the project has provided the police help in 105 lakh cases in the state of Uttar Pradesh. “With the use of spatial technology from a response time of more than an hour, the response time has reduced to 13 minutes,” says Dwivedi. “With better response time, we can now prevent suicide cases, rape cases or any emergency situation.”

So whenever a victim calls, they are communication officers taking calls. They capture the location of the caller on the map. This location has to be precise, since every other mechanism is heavily dependent on the location. The system reads the location and based on that the nearest police station responds to it.

Location intelligence is the most vital part of this whole process. “We have a goldmine of data and based on this data, we provide advisories to the field unit so that they can take preventive steps. Like previous year during the festival of Holi, they was a spurt in crime. We knew the exact location from where those events came. By sharing this data with the local police they could take preventive steps,” adds Dwivedi