Kochi: Now parents worried over their children misusing mobile phones can heave a sigh of relief.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) Cochin in tie up with NGO MAGICS has initiated a new project ‘Safety Phone for children’ to be implemented through educational institutions.
The project will be launched on Wednesday on the occasion of the UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
“Mobile phone is a double edged sword. While it’s the best gadget a child can hold in case of an emergency and for parents to contact their wards, the same can be a device to get connected to all sorts of illicit means too,” said Dr Praveen G. Pai of MAGICS.
The special set of GPS-enabled phones has no ‘Menu’ or ‘Keypad’ and the children can dial and receive call only to a set of up to 20 preset numbers. Also the phones don’t support internet.
“However, there is a SOS button on phone that can be pressed on emergency. Doing so during emergency will trigger call to five contacts at the same time besides sending them Google location map of the user. For this we’ve tied up with a private service provider (Vodafone-idea),” Dr Praveen, who was the brain behind successfully implemented projects like ‘Age-Friendly Ernakulam’, said.
Another feature is that the phones will facilitate Digital Money service using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. “The children handling cash is another worry for parents. Here children need not carry cash. Even if they buy a pen from store, messages goes to parent. Misuse of money doesn’t happen in this case,” he said.
“IMA is doing the role of facilitator. We intend to provide the phones to parents through schools. We’ve initiated talks in this regard,” said Dr Junaid Rehman, IMA Cochin Branch President....