Governance · Law · Public Policy

HIMMAT: Making Women Feel Safer?

The travesty of 16th December 2012, date which no Indian would like to remember. The incident which shook the whole nation and brought millions of people on the street of Delhi and other parts of the country, the Delhi gang rape case involving a rape and brutal fatal assault occurring on 16th December 2012 in Munirka, South Delhi of 23 year old girl in a private bus in which she was travelling with her male friend who was also badly beaten and injured. Fifteen days after the assault, she died from her injuries. The incident generated widespread national and international news about the safety of women and was widely condemned. All the accused of the case were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder.

After this devastating happening in the Capital criminal laws on rape and women related laws were amended keeping in view the safety of women and various other safety measures were taken up by the Government and the state Delhi Police but even after all these measures the rate of Gang raping in the city was at its peak and there was no sign of falling in the reported rape cases. Keeping in view the safety of women in the capital especially those working at night and protecting them the State Delhi Police with the help of the Union Government recently have launched a new mobile application called HIMMAT, meant for women’s safety.

So what’s this Mobile Application HIMMAT is all about and would it be helpful in combating the most heinous crime in the country?

This application will assist the Delhi Police force to effectively communicate with the women in need of help. It would allow the women to send to send a distress call to the police control room and their relatives in case of any emergency. This application can be easily downloaded free of cost from the Delhi Police website or from Google play store on android phones. In case of an emergency, the user can send an alert by shaking her phone or by pressing the power button, as soon as the power button is pressed it would trigger a 30- second audio and video recording on the phone which will be relayed to the police control room and the victim will get a call back from the police control room. Also a SMS alert will be posted on her Facebook and Twitter timeline which will be connected to the application.

Now the bigger question is how far this mobile application would be helpful in combating the menace of Raping in the Capital? According to my view the measure taken up by the State Police to protect the women especially at night through a mobile application is unique and good as Mobiles is something which individual has nowadays and it would be easy to trace the location of the women in need of help and with automatic audio and video recording it on pressing the power button it would be little easy to identify the culprit. The police can immediately connect to the woman and can reach the spotted location if they alert and seriously do their duty. Another advantage of the application is that it also sends a distress call to its 5 relatives and also an emergency alert is posted automatically on her facebook accounts and today in this era of social networking this would be very helpful as number of people can be informed at once. But every coin has two sides, this application if on one hand is providing some unique ways of protecting the women on the other hand, if suffers from some flaws and loopholes.

The mobile application can only be downloaded on the android and window phones. Imagine a situation where a woman is in need of help and she doesn’t have a smart phone, now what the only option left for her is to call a phone which would be very difficult to do in some situations. Here this HIMMAT application fails. The central government should also take out a middle way to extend this application to phone other than smart phones as well in some way because all people cannot afford to keep a smart phone.

Keeping in mind that no. of people today have a smartphone, this measure take by the Government along with the Delhi police in the form of mobile application HIMMAT would definitely be helpful in combating the menace of Raping and dropping the increasing level of reported rape cases in the Capital if the Delhi police continue to show their seriously for their duty as they have shown in launching this application for the safety of women. Only launching one mobile application would not suffice the purpose and it would do no good to the women until and unless Police works for it success for example 24×7 there must be police sitting  in the police control room along with the lady constable where the distress call of the women in need is send. The Police force has to remain very active and smart all the time for the success of HIMMAT- APPLICATION  FOR WOMEN’S SAFETY.

About the Author

Vartika AnandVartika Anand is a third year student pursuing her B.A. LL.B. (Hons) from Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow. Being a law student, she is interested in working on human rights issues and enjoys researching and reading on the political history of India. Besides that, she is really passionate about sports, especially cricket, volleyball and badminton. Currently, she is interning with the Model Governance Foundation.

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