‘Panic Button’ feature on phones not a fun thing, says Maneka Gandhi
The ‘Panic Button’ safety feature is not a fun thing, women and child and development minister Maneka Gandhi said on Wednesday as her ministry prepared for another test, in Uttar Pradesh this time.
“We would request the people of UP to take it easy and don’t think its a fun thing. Let us see where it goes from here. If it works in UP, it can work anywhere,” she said.
The ministry has decided to test the ‘panic button’ feature on mobile phones in Uttar Pradesh on January 26.
The project was stated to begin earlier, but Gandhi said that the feature got delayed because of large number of prank calls.
“When we tried for one day in Delhi, the lines got immediately jammed because there were so many people making prank calls. Police then just completely backed off and this led us in delaying the project for over a year,” she said.
The pilot project of the ministry was taken up as a step to ensure safety and security of women. In April 2016, the Department of Telecommunications made it mandatory for mobile phone manufacturers to provide panic buttons in cell phones by January 2017.
According to the ministry, they will appoint volunteers for keeping an eye on the feature and they will be screened by the authorities and receive an orientation on how to provide help to a woman in distress.
The feature will be available in smartphones and users will have to download the mobile application. One can send alert by long pressing the feature and the notification will be sent to victim’s family members or friends.