Saturday, October 19, 2013

Get armed with " Smart Suraksha"

We hear about it in the newspapers, news channels, in social circles and other social sites.  The news is omnipresent screaming  “ Women in India are not safe anymore”.    The statement hurts any Indian with pride.  As if , to add salt to injury, we see  some NRI’s posting messages that they are safe in   foreign countries and would  rather not  raise their children in India. Some go to the extent of calling India as “Rap(e)ublic of India”.  Not a happy situation, we know.

Women across various cross sections – educated, uneducated, rich, poor, young ,old  even differently abled and mentally challenged are not safe and spared from physical violence.  Nirbhaya, Sowmya vishwanath , Pratibha murty, The Bombay girl and there are many more unreported cases of  women and little girls. If on one side, these women are unsafe in public, Girls like Aarushi Talwar are not safe in their own home. Then there are  thousands of women suffering  domestic abuse  in the confines of their homes  in the hands of their own parents, in-laws, children, husband and other. Some are burnt for dowry, some are burnt for not obeying. Some are mere puppets, slaves and walking corpse.

 Many of you like me feel helpless while reading such stories. Many  vent  their anger on social sites, blogs etc  by stating security is not provided by the government, law and order are not maintained, men have to be taught to respect women, women should behave well, songs and movies have to be banned  and some such gyaan.    Our status, posts and messages garner a few comments and likes. Nothing much changes after that except that  candle makers make business courtesy candle light vigils and lawyers out of the courtcases.

 We should know it is not possible for the government to provide security to every citizen of India 24/7 in every nook and corner of the country. Law in our country has its own limitations and  takes its own course. The change has to come from within each and everyone of us. And that too we know it cannot happen overnight and nobody likes lectures and unsolicited advice, even it is for one’s own good. It will take time for people to realize and change.  Till such time, we will keep hearing such stories  or maybe many like me will stop reading the main broadsheet of newspaper and skip the news channels. This is escape from reality. ( I read the supplements though)

So, What do the women do in unsafe and troublesome  circumstances? 

Some I know carry safety pins in public transport to poke when the men misbehave. Some carry pepper spray.  Recently,  Just after the Nirbhaya  incident a similar incident happened in Hyderabad. A  girl came out of her office in Hi-tec city and took an auto to her working women’s hostel at 7 in the evening. There were two men in the driver seat, the driver and his friend. While the auto was on its way, the other man beside the driver shifted to the back seat and tried to play dirty with the girl. The girl luckily had  Pepper spray . She sprayed it on him and jumped out of the running auto. The police on investigation found that the driver and his friend were drunk.  Luckily passers by helped the girl.  This incident was soon after the Nirbhaya incident. Fortunately,here the girl had pepper spray and escaped. What if she did not have and the place had no passerby ? 

Under such circumstances  when one is attacked by unforeseen troubles and adverse situations like in the above case, “‘I wish She had Smart Suraksha with her’ 

The Smart Suraksha App is an Android Application that aims at making the women feel safe. This App, at the press of a single button, sends your message of help to five pre-chosen contacts from your contact list. An additional feature of this app is that along with your message for help, it also sends across your location even if the GPS on your cellphone is switched off. Thus, the women can be reassured that there is help available at all times.

Most of the Indian Public has a mobile phone, so get armed with this app. I am glad I came across this app through blogadda and  as a fellow citizen, If I am able to create awareness and publicise this app, there perhaps can be lesser incidents like this.

And why only women, even men  and little boys are not safe. If only, Nirbhayas companion had this app, he could have saved her.

We have to be  our own policeman and security guard for we know not when troubles happen. They come unannounced. Take care of your safety as well as your loved ones. 
Download this app here from google store.

I am participating in   Blogadda's Seekin Smart Suraksha


  1. For once, I can gently disagree with your post. The easier issue to disagree is Smart Suraksha. I humbly suggest it would do little to improve the safety, real or perceived, of anybody.

    The larger issue is the way crimes against women are portrayed. It is a serious issue and at the same time much overblown, with men portrayed as devils and women the victims. That is hardly the truth. Unfortunately, benign or active sexual harassment (no ; cannot be called the euphemistic eve teasing) is a feature of our culture and women suffer the brunt of it. That is undeniably true and especially rampant in Delhi. This surely needs to be combated, both on the social front and by the law and order forces.

    But in many cities, women are largely as safe as anybody else. In Bangalore or Hyderabad, a woman is as safe as the general safety level is. There will tragically always be one off incidences, but to generalise from them is not correct I think. The other forms of abuse that you outline - domestic, parental, etc, I humbly submit the perpetrator is as likely to be a woman as a man - we only have to see 5 minutes of any Indian serial in any language to appreciate this.

    In much of India, as indeed in much of the world, men and women both need to take the usual precautions - not venturing in unsafe areas, beware of whom we are befriending, not getting drunk, avoiding lonely places in the night etc etc. Thankfully, much of India is a crowded country and therefore there is some safety in a crowd.

    This is not to trivialise the crimes against women. Just to offer a perspective away from the shrillness of the media which offer uni dimensional yelling.

    1. You disagree with my post? :D

      But I understand your perspective and i do agree to some of your points :) like the issue being overblown and men being portrayed as devils and women the angels. The converse is also true. Yes, the issue after the Nirbhaya incident was so overblown by media and social networking sites.. Almost every other site i opened wrote on how sons have to be raised, how women have to be treated etc. There were lot of bhashans.

      I agree There are equal or more number of men, especially Indian men ( never interacted much with foreign men)who are kind and good . No doubts or second thoughts on that. Ask me, till date i know no gender discrimination/ harassment be it at home , at work place or at any place outside. I reread my post and found that i have not generalized the issue. Infact, i have written no man or little boy is safe:) I am aware of whistleblowers like Manjunath and satyendra dubey who also were harassed and killed though not sexually.

      And Ramesh, agree that our country is crowded mostly in the center, but there are areas like the cantonment and other suburbs which are lonely sans street lights. These are vulnerable spots for crimes.

      about the domestic, parental etc. Totally in sync with your thoughts. it is still important to save oneself what even if the perpetrator is a woman. Oh, don't even get me started on those serials. So much negativity oozes out of those TV screens.

      That said, i still maintain that smart suraksha is a good app to save the distressed in difficult situations for (women and men) too. what if sowmya vishwanth, pratibha murthy who were returning from office at ungodly hours had this app. It would have perhaps saved the lives of whistleblowers Shanmugam manjunath and satyendra dubey too.

    2. Oh I understand you perfectly Asha. I've commented in this vein before and I know you are very even handed, objective and present the most fair of pictures. My comment was more in general on the issue and not specific to your post.

      I remain a huge fan of your versatility - serious issues, travel writing, food blogging ; wow what a diverse set of interests.

    3. Thank you for your generous words, Ramesh. A comment that will be cherished for a long time:)

  2. Smart Suraksha is fine. If I were a girl living in India, I would carry a .357 magnum. It is designed for only one reason. Blow the brains out and kill a person instantly.

    1. Wish Nirbhaya, the gauhati and the other victims had it SG:)

  3. I also saw this app and feel that its one more thing to help the girls, but the main help will come from their own vigilance, alertness and not taking risk unnecessarily.
    Though in the long term, women as mothers have to teach their sons to respect woman, we idolise mothers so much but are they doing their job?

    1. You are right about the alertness, vigilance etc. Renu. But, in today's working world, timings are erratic, there are times when many travel at odd hours from their office in outskirts. Most rely on cabs and autos to reach home. During such circumstance trouble comes unannounced.

      Very true what you have said about moms teaching the sons to respect woman, i believe though in general humans should respect humans irrespective of gender.

  4. Though our safety is on our own hands, glad that we have such apps which can help in times of distress.

  5. True shilpa. There was another incident in hyd day before yesterday where a cab driver and his accomplice raped a 22 year old techie when she walked out of Raheja mindspace( IT park) and boarded the cab. The policemen have alerted all to carry pepper spray guns, whistle cards and touch button software apps. The policestations have started registering all the cabdrivers but there would still be loopholes. It is better be armed with such apps.