Nagaland became the first state in the Northeast and second in the country, after Himachal Pradesh, to launch a pan-India single-number emergency mobile application which will have a special women safety feature for immediate assistance from police and volunteers.
Announcing the launch here, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said a ‘SHOUT’ feature has been made available exclusively for women in the ‘112 India’ mobile app which is connected to the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS).
Singh said women in distress will able to seek immediate assistance from nearby registered volunteers as well as from the Emergency Response Centre (ERC) by using the ‘SHOUT’ feature.
“This app will assist the first responders in locating and tracking the woman in distress using GPS for effective response,” he said.
The ERSS utilises location based services to assist the ERC in locating the distressed caller, the home minister said.
ERCs have been setup here and in three district command centres to offer unified emergency service. On receipt of an SOS from a woman, ERCs can dispatch the nearest response vehicle to the spot for assistance.
Singh said the country needs to provide a safe and secure environment to women for facilitating their participation in all developmental activities. “Only then can we achieve the optimum growth of our country”.
“Women constitute half of the country’s population and if we make our cities and settlements safe then women will automatically participate in the progress of the country and the country will move forward. A country where women are safe, is strong and no one can stop the development of that country,” Singh said.
He said by using the mobile app people in the state will henceforth be able to receive immediate assistance from police, health, fire departments and other such agencies.
The home minister said the Centre has taken various initiatives, including the creation of the helpline, besides a women safety division in the home ministry. He said laws have been amended by making relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code harsher to ensure safety and security of women.
Fast-track courts have been established to deal with cases related to sexual assault and portals have been launched for a national database on sexual offenders and cybercrime, he added.
The ERSS has been integrated with police (100), fire (101), health (108) and women (1090) helpline numbers to provide emergency services through the emergency number 112.
The single number for various emergency services, which is similar to the 911, all-in-one emergency service in the US, will be gradually rolled out across the country, an official said.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in his brief address said the launch of the emergency mobile app in the state was very timely as the 19th Hornbill Festival begins today and will be participated by lakhs of tourists over the next 10 days.
The project is being implemented in Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung districts and will soon be launched in remaining districts, Rio said.
The Centre has provided Rs 484 million for ERSS, he said and praised the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing for providing technological support.