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There have been increasing incidences of violence and abuse against women. Even urban areas like Mumbai are hardly safe anymore. There have been cases of women being attacked while using public transport during odd hours. Rape and sexual abuse cases have risen exponentially. Any attempt at providing safety must be applauded. One such attempt is the Smart Suraksha women’s safety app by Dark Matter India. The premise of the app is that if you sense danger, you can send a text alert to 5 pre listed numbers.
When you launch the app, you are asked to enable GPS for accurate location results.
Start by choosing your state, your GPS must be enabled
You are then led to a home screen where there are three buttons: The tap to contact button is used to add a list of up to 5 names from your contact list.
Once they are added they can be accessed and/or deleted from the button located at the right bottom corner.
The Smart Suraksha button is used to send the text alerts
The Smart Suraksha button is used to text the 5 people on your list. The app claims that the police are also alerted, however, I am not able to confirm this. This text contains your location along with a default message “I am in trouble at this location". Additionally you can also send a 140 character message. This feature can be used to further elaborate your location or even provide a description of the attacker.
Text alert will be sent to the 5 pre-listed contacts
This women’s safety app is definitely handy as it just entails clicking of a button. Since it is present on your phone, it will always be present on your person. Choose the 5 people astutely, for example: family, close friends, colleagues so as to cover all bases.
The app sounds great on paper, but is slightly flawed in its execution. There can be a number of circumstances where the app will not be helpful. One is the lack of balance on prepaid numbers. Standard charges apply and hence if you’re running short on balance, the app will not send any text messages. The app could do with an additional feature which uses the internet to send messages.
Secondly, there is no shortcut to send the text messages. You have to first access the app, click on the Smart Suraksha button and then click send. In all it takes about 10 seconds but if you’re taken by surprise then it takes longer and hence can be ineffective. The app will be more useful when the victim can see the attacker coming. The app must be designed in a way such that the message can be sent without having to look at the phone screen. This will help the victim focus on her surroundings.
Also note that the app asks for your Location GPS services to be enabled for precise location details. This can drain your battery. The app works fine even if GPS is turned off. Thumbs up on this one. This app can ensure safety for anyone, not necessarily only women. Definitely a smart way to stay safe, even with the kinks.
The app is available for download from Google Play (click on the button below to download).
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