The patriarchal Indian society has always been illicit when it comes to providing safety and security to its women. The condition of women safety in India has always been a matter of grave concern. Women are very vulnerable to sexual assault, molestation, sexual harassment, rapes, trafficking and ill-treatment.
The Government has so far been incompetent when it comes to structuring stringent laws in order to curb the menace. But it seems like things are about to change.
In a significant push towards women’s safety, the Government has decided that mobile phones will come up with a panic button from January 1, 2017.
HOW WILL THIS FACILITY WORK?
This facility will allow a person to long press a set of buttons which will instantly send out an alert to the user’s family or friends and will inform them about the location.
HOW WILL IT HELP?
Women in India have to be worried about walking down a lonely road or are always scared when traveling alone with the cab driver.
Hence, this emergency help button in their mobiles will act as a secret alarm when they are in trouble. The panic button will help women to quickly ask for help if they find something suspicious or distressing.
WHAT ABOUT EXISTING PHONES?
Planning is in progress for existing mobile phones and it is said that the policy makers are working towards a software or an application that can be downloaded and will have the exact same function as the panic button.
WHAT ABOUT ORDINARY HANDSETS?
For those who own ordinary handsets, they will be provided with a facility wherein they can go to their respective service centers and get the application for free. This is an excellent measure with regard to cost-effectiveness.
WHAT CAUSED THE GOVERNMENT TO TAKE THIS STEP?
It is obvious that the present state of women safety in the country must have been the cause behind this measure but precisely, it was the heart-wrenching Nirbhaya Gangrape in December 2012 that lead to the establishment of the panic button suggestions.
Women safety in India is a serious condition to assert and a number of steps had to be taken to empower women and tackle the everyday challenges they face.
Also, the Government has set up 10 women crisis centers and plans to increase them to 660 in all districts that provide free medical, legal and police help to women.
If more such effective measures are implemented, women in India will eventually be free from the unjust environment and callousness on the part of the system.
Ashwathi is an enthusiastic traveller and dancer with a passion for movies and music. Hailing from an Army background, she considers herself fortunate enough to have experienced the diverse cultures that India boasts of. She is a graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications and has worked in print, radio and television.