Violence against women is a serious problem in India, a country where four rapes occur every hour, according to Bloomberg. In an effort to improve women’s safety, the Indian government now mandates phone makers to include a way for users to quickly call emergency services.
The telecom ministry clearly signifies that no mobile phone firm can legally sell, feature phones without the facility of panic button by pressing ‘numeric key – 5’ or ‘numeric key – 9’ to invoke emergency call or smartphones without the facility of emergency call button by pressing the same for long time to invoke emergency call.
Here are some key points you must know:
- The panic button will allow users to instantly alert the emergency services including police, hospital and other emergency contacts
- All smart phones will have this feature, which would be activated by short-pressing the power button three times
- In case of a feature phone, long press on 5 or 9 button will do the trick
- This feature will be available in all mobile phones manufactured after January 1, 2017
- The satellite-based GPS will be added in phones manufactured after January 1, 2018
- The manufacturers would need to incorporate the software that would connect the panic calls to emergency contacts and concerned authorities.
“Technology is meant to make human life better, and for what better purpose to use it than for the security of women,” telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “I have taken a decision that from January 1, 2017, no cellphone can be sold without these provisions.”