One Year on....

A SOS alert button will be made mandatory in all mobile handsets will enable police to quickly respond to distress calls from women, finance minister P Chidambaram said, while clearing Rs .1,000 crore for Nirbhaya fund to be utilized for this measure.
“Apart from introducing SOS alert button in new handsets, manufacturers will also be instructed to launch SOS alert system in the existing handsets through free downloading of suitable software,” Chidambaram told repoters on the first anniversary of the gory rape incident of a 23 year old woman in Delhi last year that led to nationwide protests.
“A cabinet note would be moved by home ministry very soon,” he said adding that the scheme will be launched in 157 cities in two phases — 55 in first phase and 102 cities in the second phase. This is a part of government efforts to integrate police administration with the mobile phone network to “trace and respond” to distress calls with minimum response time, he said.
IT department has already initiated two projects to help women in distress.
An electronic personal safety system that provides a complete ecosystem for assisting women in distress is already being implemented at a Jaipur policy control room. Another electronic personal safety device in the form of wristwatch is being developed by IIT Delhi.
Putting to rest speculation that the money allocated for the fund is not being spent, Chidambaram said that a cabinet note is being prepared to implement a Rs.1,700 crore proposal from road transport ministry including compulsory installation of GPS in all public transport vehicles for tracking and enforcement.
All public transport will have CCTVs and all the 32 cities with at least one million population will have control room to track public transport vehicles. There will also be women enforcement wing in transport departments. These would be implemented in two years, he said. A third proposal for women safety is by the Railways. A pilot scheme to provide SOS alert system in trains in select zones is being undertaken. To implement it, the railway helpline system will have call recording facility and will upgrade its SMS service to make it compatible handling such services.

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