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Take care with life saviour app

As the buzz around the mobile application for women’s safety, to be launched in Delhi in the first week of November, heightens, many young women welcome the technology, while some say its misuse must be monitored.

gadgets Updated: Oct 16, 2011 00:35 IST
Aakriti Sawhney

As the buzz around the mobile application for women’s safety, to be launched in Delhi in the first week of November, heightens, many young women welcome the technology, while some say its misuse must be monitored.

The application, Fight Back, will work as an SOS alert device. In case a woman feels threatened, it’ll send out an SMS with the user’s GPS (Global Positioning System) location to five chosen numbers, including the police. It will also leave an emergency post on the user’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to mobilise help against danger.

The concept and design of this application is by a non-profit citizen networking platform, Whypoll. “We thought it was time citizen-enabled technologies fought the loopholes in governance,” says Hindol Sengupta, co-founder, Whypoll. Women agree. “It’ll be a very helpful application, especially for women who work late nights. But this has to be backed by an efficient response system,” says Anchal Ahuja, 26. Women’s rights activist Ranjana Kumari says, “This application should not be limited to metro cities, but should also go to small towns. It also needs an equally smart and responsible response from lawmakers.”

The first-ever such harassment reporting platform is simple to use: click on the app on the phone and your friends and family — people you’d have pre-fed on the SOS list — will know that you are in trouble and exactly where you are, through GPS. One of these, the makers suggest, should be a police number for quick rescue. The app can be activated and de-activated whenever a user so wishes.

Some, however, fear misuse. Shanti Mehta, 43, a mother to two young girls, says, “What if someone plays a prank with someone else’s phone? The makers should monitor it very carefully.” The police say it’s too early to say if it’ll help fight crime against women. “Let the application get launched, we’ll be able to tell only once we see the services,” says Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson, Delhi police.

How it works
Click on the app on your phone and a maximum of five people, whose numbers yuo’d have pre-fed, will be alerted that you are in trouble and exactly where you are, through GPS
The makers of the app suggest that one of these numbers be that of the police, for quick rescue
If you activate the service by mistake, there is a five second time for cancellation.