Travelling to India? Good news. The country is using technology to increase safety for women in India. We have all heard our share of stories. India like the U.S. is getting a National helpline number, which will be like 911 and can be dialled by pressing a single button through smartphones. The country is planning to use 112 as panic and emergency mode number so that women can feel safe. Both women of the country and women who travel to India will find this step uplifting and necessary.
What Mobile Design Changes to Indian Smartphones and Why?
Mobile phones play a huge role in seeking help if you are a woman. If somebody is trying to follow you, scare you or you feel unsafe in a dark alley in India. The Indian Telecom Ministry has decided to take action and being better late than never is the case, it has started with making it compulsory for phone makers to add a panic button to their phones. This would give women an advantage to seek help immediately if they are in any kind of unsafe situation anywhere in India. Other phones that do not have this button will be banned and will not be allowed to be sold. Safety for Women in India is a major issue and it needs to be tackled now.
Safety Helpline Number and Panic Button
This move will prioritise emergency help numbers as every department in India has its helpline, women safety helpline will be connected with that panic button. All mobile phone manufacturers have been alerted to launch Indian model phones with a panic button and this functionality is mandatory. Though I find one thing funny, while this move is to increase safety for women in India, so manufacturers will launch two models of each smartphone? One for males and the other for females. Jokes apart, this is a serious matter and the Indian government is trying its best to solve the problem. It wants to rise as a developed and safe country and want all its women to be happy and fearless. Though it will take its sweet time to shift from its current status of a developing nation.
With huge poverty and illiteracy crises, this has been a major problem, that leads to rapes and thefts. Women, generally the physically weaker sex, when it comes to self-defence is an easy target for thieves. Even mischievous drunk men perform eve-teasing and abuse women walking on the road.
India has not been a safe country for its own as well as travelling women. Many European women and female travelers from the Western half of the world have faced threatening situations in India. This has actually hampered solo travel tourism as foreign women avoid coming and exploring the Himalayan country alone.
Who will effect this most? I’d say smartphone manufacturers. While Apple, Samsung, Micromax, Xiaomi and OnePlus are highest selling companies in India, they all need to revisit their strategies. Design and innovation is needed on their part and they will have to spend a lot of time and money to come up with a panic button design. And safety for women in India will definitely increase with this special panic and emergency contact button.
As per Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister holding Communications and Information Technology in India, this mobile design change needs to happen from 1 Jan 2017.
What are your thoughts on the Panic Button Mobile design change to increase safety of women in India?