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To all the dolled up and shining women out there:
Yeah, we have opportunities today—to choose our education, career, spouses—that would’ve stunned our grandmothers. But in the current picture, Feminism is synonymized with Perfection. Every day I see young women who dazzle the people around them. But I also see the pressure they’re under- To be perfect. And these expectations in form of standards aren’t limited to a few spheres of their lives. They’re actually everywhere, ranging from the beauty standard to the marriage standard, from motherhood standard to the homemaker standard, from the work standard and finally, the no-complaints standard. India has dramatically changed and the multimedia resources give me a front-row view of what women think and feel now. But you know what ….in the race of beautifying others’ lives and meeting the society’s heaped up anticipations, you’re somewhere lost.
And amidst all these fairytale terms, who can guarantee a safe world for the prettier gender? As per a research: Of all the rich G20 nations, India has been labeled the worst place to be born as a woman. But how is this possible in a country that prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy? Many a times the safety of Indian women has been questioned and there still exists some anti-social elements that hinder their growth as individuals. We’ve noticed a rise in the conventionally driven moral policing and the melodrama on the name of culture that continues despite your ‘I do not like it’ behavior.
So remember, Wonder Woman doesn’t exist. She is a fiction, and you are real. Building a life on fantasy is not a recommended one. Though discussions are still on about the severity of punishments and all other details related to such crimes, you can take a few precautions that could make you a bit safer. Since mobile phones have become ubiquitous, you can as well make it your weapon in distress situations.
So girls, it seems time has come to leave pepper sprays and high heels behind and let your cell phone be your temporary guardian. Here are some women centered safety mobile applications that could come handy as these apps provide a smart way to stay safe on the road and alert family, friends or police when required.
- VithU: V Gumrah Initiative – VithU, is an emergency App that, at the click of the power button of your Smartphone 2 times consecutively begins sending out alert messages every 2 minutes to your contacts that you feed into the app as the designated receivers or guardians. The message says “I am in danger. I need help. Please follow my location.” The receiver will receive a link to your location every 2 minutes giving them your updated location. Also, you will get updates on the Crime Scene in India and a “Tips Feed” option exclusively giving you safety tips in an emergency situation. Download for Android.
- Circle of 6: As the name suggests that you can add 6 trusted members to your circle. Mainly designed for college students, it lets your 6 friends know when you’re facing a troublesome situation. With two taps, the app sends one out of three predetermined alert messages to six contacts of your choice including a call for help connecting home that automatically includes the real-time location. The app also consists of pre-programmed hotline numbers and a local number that can be customized for police. Download for iPhones or Androids.
- Nirbhaya: This can be used in emergency situations using a single click ‘Distress’ signal through call or message to a specified group or contact. The app can be configured to send emergency message on shaking the phone. Moreover, the app will send alerts about the location of the user to the chosen contacts with accurate updates after every 300 meters. Download for Android.
- FightBack: It is developed by the Mahindra Group firm, an application that ensures women safety as it works across various range of phones. Earlier, the application was charged as per the usage, but recently after the Delhi gang rape case, the company has started giving free access to the app. It uses GPS, GPRS, SMS, emails and even Facebook to inform friends in need of help. It also shows location on Google Maps and sends SOS emergency text messages to close and dear ones. Download for Android, Blackberry and Nokia Smartphones.
- SOS Whistle: SOS Whistle does not send an SOS or let your friends known where you are. Rather, as its name suggests, the app has a very simple function – to trigger a whistle. In fact, it can trigger a whistle sound even if the phone is in silent mode. Thus, it is a great app in times of danger to tell other passers-by of your situation. You don’t even need a data connection or GPS service. You just have to tap the screen and the app will start an alarm. Download for All phones.
So what if you are not Wonder Woman! Don’t hide. Don’t fear. Get dressed. Stand tall and live your life. But yes, don’t forget to Stay alert and safe!
By DHVANI PANDYA