Women are taking safety into their own hands with the help of technology
Over a year has passed since Nirbhaya’s fate became a clarion call for women’s safety. People are still raising their voices for better laws, the police are claiming to be on alert, and a mushrooming number of mobile apps, like VithU— that Kareena Kapoor vouches for on TV— are promising women smart ways to protect themselves. Here are some of the popular ones.
FightBack: An app developed by the Mahindra group, it uses GPS, GPRS, SMS, emails and Facebook to send out an SOS. It even allows people on your emergency list to track your location on Google Maps. Available on Android, Nokia and iPhones.
Sentinel: If there’s no time to manually send an alert, this app will do it for you. Any forced power off or prolonged signal loss will trigger an alert that will go out to friends, family and the police. Available for free on iTunes and Google.
Bsafe: This one goes by the slogan ‘Never walk alone.’ A single tap of the free version sends out alerts, while the upgrade ($1.99) gives you two extra levels of safety: a risk mode with real-time GPS tracking and a timer mode with an automatic alarm. On iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices.
Hollaback: A crowd-sourced initiative, this app is trying to empower the world ‘to end street harassment’. Users can either post photos of their harassers or add posts on ihollaback.org. The idea is not just to put the aggressor in the spotlight, but also to raise awareness about the issue. Available on Android and iPhone.
– Surya Praphulla Kumar