A Swathi SOS app for women train passengers

The app will roll out in 2 months.
A Swathi SOS app for women train passengers
A Swathi SOS app for women train passengers
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The Railway Protection Force (RPF) having woken up to their complacency after the murder of Swathi, the techie who was hacked to death in Nungambakkam railway station last month, will soon launch a mobile application in her name for the safety of women passengers.

Infosys, the company she had worked for, has agreed to develop the app in a bid to allow women to seek police assistance at the click of an ‘SOS’ button.  As for non-smartphone users, the facility will be extended to them via message.

Police sources told The Hindu that Southern Railway’s Senior Divisional Security Commissioner K.K. Ashraf met representatives of the Infosys management on Tuesday to finalise the features of the app. And apart from the app, a special team of RPF personnel will be trained for effective monitoring and response. The app will roll out in 2 months time.

Swathi was murdered in Nungambakkam railway station early on June 24 when she was waiting to board a train to her workplace. P. Ramkumar, suspected to be the lone assailant in the case, was arrested by the Chennai Police a week later. The gruesome murder sent shivers down the spines of commuters, particularly women, and drew sharp criticism from the opposition parties and civil society which raised apprehensions on the safety of women in the city.

The proposed app will be available for people to download downloaded on smart phones. The prominent feature would be an ‘SOS’ icon that women passengers in distress could press for police assistance. An auto alert message would reach the Security Control Room, senior officials and mobile teams.

“RPF personnel will be deployed strategically to cover all suburban trains and stations. The auto alert and monitoring mechanism will be such that the first police team will reach the victim within a few minutes. We will be meeting Swathi’s family to take their consent for naming the app after her…”

The basic function of the system would be to alert the nearest RPF Inspector, mobile police teams and Security Control Room whenever a passenger presses the SOS button.

Since coordinates of the victim would be known, a team would be able to reach her in minutes. The server would be with the RPF though the expertise of Infosys would continue as regards technical update and maintenance, the report added.

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