For women in distress, emergency help may now be a five-second-long press away on their mobile phones, thanks to an app developed by the Kerala Police under Nirbhayam, an initiative for enhancing women’s safety.
The Nirbhayam app is compatible on iOS and Android platforms and can be downloaded freely from the App Store and Google Play Store. Since its rollout on Friday, more than 2,000 people have downloaded it and many of them have tried it out of curiosity.
“The app is extremely user-friendly and the ‘press-and-hold’ button is easy to find and operate. It can be activated when women sense imminent threat and without drawing the attention of potential assailants. Most importantly, it automatically sends the location of the user to the nearest police control room/police station from where the distress signal is transmitted immediately to the police mobile available closest to the location,” said Vijay Sakhare, ADGP, Law and Order. The almost instantaneous transmission of the alert message ensures swift police response and immediate neutralisation of the threat.
That it works even without internet connectivity on the mobile of the user in distress makes the app more effective. It also enables the woman in distress to send text and audio messages, pictures and videos with minimal effort, thus giving additional information to the police team. The pictures and videos are also expected to be useful in the quick identification of the assailant.
The police remain confident that the alert signal and the messages from the user will be extremely valuable evidence in a court of law, ensuring prosecution of the offenders.
The app also has the facility to alert multiple persons as well. With relatives too instantly made aware of the danger faced by their dear one, they could also alert the police. The police have made several videos featuring actor Manju Warrier to popularise the app.