‘Panic Button’ trials successful in UP, to be enforced nationwide soon

New Delhi: Safety tool ‘Panic Button’ — a women’s safety-oriented mobile application by Women and Child Development ministry (WCD)– has successfully completed its trial run in Uttar Pradesh and will be soon implemented across the country, said Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Wednesday.

“I am happy to inform that the user trial of Panic Button on mobile handsets has been successfully completed in 47 districts/locations of Uttar Pradesh, including rural areas. I have requested Home Minister Rajnath Singh to launch the Panic Button facility across the country at the earliest,” she tweeted.

The trial run of the safety app was started in Uttar Pradesh in March. The project was taken up 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 make emergency calls.

Gandhi stated that the minimum time for Police Dispatch Vans to reach the user site was recorded at two minutes while the maximum time was 26 minutes and average time recorded was 8 minutes.

“During the trial, family members of the aggrieved woman and the nearest 3 volunteers too instantly received SMS alerts,” she added.

The first trial of ‘Panic Button’ was conducted in Delhi last year, but it got further delayed because of prank calls.

“WCD ministry has been pursuing the provision of Panic Button on all mobile handsets to provide emergency response to women in distress. The facility of Panic Button will be able to send a signal to the nearest PCR and selected family/friends identifying the location through satellite-based GPS in an emergency situation,” she added.

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