New Delhi: In a bid to curb rise in crimes against women in the national capital, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday launched a mobile phone-based application "Himmat".
The minister also distributed pepper spray to women and awarded girls, who had successfully completed Delhi Police self-defence programme.
He lauded Delhi Police's efforts to use technology for better policing.
Explaining the work of the app, Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said that after downloading the app, a new user has to register with the Delhi Police website by sharing their name, mobile number and that of a minimum of two relatives/friends.
Once the User registers, the user will get a SMS on mobile number given at the time of registration with a download link and registration key. User has to enter this key in the registration window in the application. This is a one-time process.
"In case of an emergency, the user can send an alert by shaking her phone or by pressing the power button/soft button. As soon as the distress button is pressed, it will 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 PCR," said Bassi.
Ahead of the launch, Bassi had described “Himmat” as the first integrated women safety app in the country.
The Delhi Police readied the proposal for “Himmat” keeping in mind the safety of women.
Police said “Himmat” will help women contact police in the quickest possible time in an emergency.
A police official said though the app has been designed for women, it can also be used by any smartphone user to contact police in the event of a crime.
The user will be asked to feed five emergency contact numbers of friends or relatives into the app's data base. When an SOS call is made, a message will be automatically sent to these five numbers.
"In this way, not only police, but the user's relatives and friends too will be able to come to her rescue," the official said.
"This app is currently available on Android platform, since a survey has revealed that most working women use Android based phone. In due course this facility will be extended to other operating systems as well," said a senior Delhi Police official.
The Home Minister has asked the Delhi Police to make the app available on iOS platform so that iPhone users can also use it.
Singh said traditionally Indians are more sensitive to women's safety issues as women have been worshiped and respected through ancient times in our society.
"Providing self-defence training increases self-confidence of girls and this is a good initiative by the Delhi Police which has so far trained more than 14,000 women. Being the national capital, Delhi does not deserve ordinary policing and ordinary police. We need modern policing and and modern police, other states should learn from Delhi Police," he said.
The Home Minister accepted that the recent spurt in crime against women has caused a "trust deficit" and the image of Delhi Police and also the Home Ministry has taken a beating but he expressed hope that the police are aware of this and efforts are being taken to improve the situation.
Singh also informed that keeping in mind the inadequate representation of women in various police forces. The Home Ministry has issued an advisory to all states that efforts should be made to increase the representation of women to 33 percent.
"The representation of women in Central Armed Police Forces is also just 1.22 percent. In the next 2 to 4 years, we want aim to bring it 5 percent," he said.
On this occasion, Singh also unveiled an advertisement educating street vendors to report any kind of harassment by police officials on 1064 and 9910641064 on which a complaint in the form of an audio video clip can also be sent.
The Himmat app can be downloaded free of cost from the Delhi Police website - www.Delhipolice.Nic.In and also from the Google Play Store.
The application also has a help section which has details about how to use each section of the app. Users are requested to follow the instructions there.
It also has 'Safety Tips section' and First aid tips for women to help them in times of crisis.
In 2014, 11,000 women have used 100 number facility while 49,717 women have used number 1096, the anti-stalking and obscene calls helpline, and 1410 women have used the women helpline 1091.
(With Agency inputs)