Soon, women in distress can send SOS on Mobile app for local trains

The mobile app ‘m-Indicator’, which is popular among commuters for local train timings and stops, will soon double as an emergency button for women commuters in distress.

This is the first time that such a safety measure is being launched by the railways in collaboration of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and developers of the app.

“In a week, this will be introduced in Western Railway,” a railway official said, adding that final tests for the application were on.
The interface will help women select the train they are travelling in and press the emergency button in case they sense any threat to their safety. The details of the train will be directly sent to the RPF control room, which can arrange for help to the distressed woman at the next station. On pushing the button, coach position will automatically flash in control room, which will avoid confusion among the security staffs. The system will work on both online and offline mode, according to railway officials.

According to Abhijit Patil, a representative of the mobile application developers, 90 per cent of the work on the application is completed.

RPF personnel and women commuter groups have already met the app developers to ensure all aspects concerning security of women were discussed.

Women commuter Arpita Rai says such apps will help in safer commute and ensure that the delay in reporting a crime is also minimised.

Another commuter Menka Naidu, who often does night duty and travels first-class, says the app would help women who travel on difficult work shifts.

Earlier this year, the RPF had conducted a security survey after a series of incidents where women were mugged or attacked. They surveyed a total of 27, 894 coaches during night hours for two months early this year and found a total of 2,13,316 women passengers travelling between 10 pm and 5 am in the coaches that were surveyed.

In most cases that RPF studied, officials conceded that valuable time was lost in locating the victim as the calls are made to control room, which directs the police personnel to the spot. In many instances, women have come to the nearest railway station, by which time the stalker or the attacker has escaped the spot.

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