Trial run of ‘Panic Button’ begins in UP

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New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) The trial run of the Union Women and Child Development Ministry’s ‘Panic Button’, which aims to ensure safety for women, has successfully started in Uttar Pradesh, a ministry official said.

The trial run in was initially planned to begin on January 26 but had been postponed to March 26.

“The application has been started across pan Uttar Pradesh and till now it has been successful. Depending upon the final results, the final date of the beginning the application will be announced,” the ministry official told IANS, adding that the trial run will last around a month and the results will be available by the second half of April.

The project of the ministry was taken up as a step to ensure safety and security of women, with the Department of Telecommunications, in April 2016, making it mandatory for mobile phone manufacturers to provide panic buttons in cell phones by January 2017.

The order said the phones will have to have the panic button in the form of numeric key 5 or 9 to invoke emergency calls.

Meanwhile, the ministry said that volunteers will be appointed after screening for keeping an eye on the feature and will receive an orientation on how to provide help to a woman in distress.

The feature will be available in smartphones and users will have to download the mobile application. One can send alert by long pressing the feature and the notification will be sent to victim’s family members or friends.

The first trial of ‘Panic Button’ was conducted in Delhi last year, but according to Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, it got further delayed because of large number of prank calls.

“When we tried for one day in Delhi, the lines got immediately jammed because there were so many people making prank calls. Police then just completely backed off and this led us in delaying the project for over a year,” she had said.



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