Govt. wants panic button in mobiles to ensure women’s safety

To ensure women’s safety, Ministry of Women and Child Development has proposed introduction of a panic button in all mobile phones. According to the proposal, pressing the panic button will not only send an SMS to a set of numbers, it will also provide location information of the mobile. Women and Child Development Minister, Maneka Gandhi said that the government has asked all mobile phone manufacturers to work out the feasibility of such a feature.

“When we asked for suggestions about what precautions girls can take to keep themselves safe and escape out of emergency situations, we were flooded with ideas including wearing specialised necklaces, bracelets and rings which had certain SOS message sending features. Why should we do that? Are women prisoners, so they always have to move with these devices? How can we ensure availability, affordability and usage of these devices among rural women? Considering the limitations of these devices, the government has come up with an idea of having inbuilt panic button in all cell phones,” Gandhi said while addressing a ‘Student Parliament’ on issues faced by girl students.

The panic button in the phones will be connected through GPS. “We are in conversation with phone manufacturers and the proposal is likely to be executed in a few months. The administration is of the view that emergency response apps can take too long to access during a rush and configuring one of the existing buttons on a phone for the task would be much simpler and quicker,” she said.