With the present scenario of women constantly been molested and raped, it is about time that the government pulled up their socks. To encounter the events of women safety issues, the Bharatiya Janata Party has taken up an initiative towards protecting women in a unique way. Raksha, a free smartphone app, was launched yesterday. Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP spokesperson, conceptualized this application, where everyday technology can be used to enhance the safety and security of women.
After you install this app, the first screen will ask you to register your details, such as name and phone number. Move on to the settings, enter your loved ones contact details you would want to alert when in trouble, and you are done, enable the device’s GPS and your app is set. In the event of an emergency, you could pull up the app and hit the ‘Alert’ button or press the volume button for three seconds (even when the app is not running) and the phone will send the alerts to the contacts you have chosen in the app. A GPS location will also sent across so that your friends and relatives can find your whereabouts using a map. You can also create a group of trusted people for alerts. Sadly, the app also needs to be installed on the relative’s device in order to receive alerts.
You can send invites to your friends from your contact list to install the app from within the settings page. It app could have been even better if there was a possibility to send an alert SMS and/or email to a list of contacts and also include GPS location coordinates in the message. Though most of the Indian population today has a mobile phone, not everyone can afford an Internet-enabled smartphone. The other question is ‘what about those who cannot afford a smartphone’.
On the other hand, we also manage to test this app for a while using two Samsung smartphones. We found that the GPS coordinates were wrong and showing the two phones in different buildings when we were actually sitting next to each other. We could pass this one off as GPS errors due to handset hardware. The second major issue we found is that the app requires the Internet to be enabled, without which, the app is useless. So if you cannot afford basic Internet plans, this app is not for you.
Though this app is good for any individual other than women (could be children, men, women and senior citizens), the necessity for an Internet connection is a bit of a concern. Hope the developers think of implementing SMS alerts into the app, which could be beneficial for most smartphone users. The concept is great and a must for all smartphone users, but the app needs to undergo further development.
Download the app from Google Play.