'Mo Saathi' for women in distress

If Delhi police could show some "Himmat", it was the turn of its counterpart in the twin cities to play "Mo Saathi" to women.

By LELIN KUMAR MALLICK in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 16.05.15
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Chief minister Naveen Patnaik launches mobile app, Mo Saathi, as police commissioner RP Sharma looks on in Bhubaneswar on Friday. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee

Bhubaneswar, May 15: If Delhi police could show some "Himmat", it was the turn of its counterpart in the twin cities to play "Mo Saathi" to women.

Early this year, Delhi police had launched its mobile-based app, Himmat, to ensure the safety of women, especially those travelling alone in the night.

Inspired by the success of the app in Delhi, the police here decided to launch a similar facility for women in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

The plan finally took shape with chief minister Naveen Patnaik launching the mobile app in the city today.

To use the facility, a subscriber would need to download the free application from Google Playstore on their Android devices.

A police official confirmed that the facility is restricted to those using Android devices.

Once it is downloaded, the user needs to fill up an online form and register with the police.

This process will require the user to submit their personal details such as name, address, mobile number and email address. The person will also have to submit residential addresses of at least three of her relatives.

The police said that once the user entered into the registration mode, she would get an SMS on her mobile number. The code has to be keyed in to complete the one-time registration process for the app.

Speaking at the event, police commissioner R.P. Sharma explained in details how Mo Saathi would help achieve the objective of providing immediate police assistance to women in distress, especially those travelling alone at night.

"In case of an emergency, the user can send an alert by pressing the power or soft button five times. As soon as the button is pressed, the mobile phone's camera would start automatically and capture a 30-second audiovisual recording that would be transmitted to the police control room immediately," Sharma said.

"At the same time, the GPS of the phone would be activated automatically giving the exact location of the victim and the cops from the police stations concerned would rush to the spot immediately," the police commissioner said.

The other option for users would be to press the SOS button in the app to alert the police. The same alert would also be sent to the three registered relatives of the user.

Police stations concerned will also get text messages giving details the person, who needs their help.

The police, however, said playing pranks with the app would prove detrimental to the user. Generating false alerts will lead to cancellation of registration. After three false alerts, the registration will be cancelled, a police official said.

Official statistics have revealed a sharp increase in incidents of rape. While as many as 72 rape cases were registered in Bhubaneswar in 2014 as compared to 51 such cases in 2013, the number of rape cases increased to 66 in 2014 in comparison to 30 in 2013 in Cuttack.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik's speech at the launch ceremony also echoed his concern about the safety of women and the need to use such technology.

"I am happy to dedicate this application to the women of the twin cities and urge all the women to make use of this technology to enhance their own security. I call upon the police to give prompt responses to the women making use of this application and thus ensure that its use is widespread and successful," said Naveen.