Sharing this article which appeared in TOI online.
BENGALURU: Whitefield residents are showing the way when it comes to keeping the city safe. They have developed an app to reach out to volunteers, traffic wardens and eventually even police, in case of an emergency . Called Rising Safe, the app was conceived when an elderly resident of Whitefield had a minor brush with some unruly elements.
“There was an accident and quite a few people gathered around the car and began to bully him. He sent a message on a WhatsApp group for residents, seeking help. Some of us were able to rush to the spot and get him out of the situation,” recalled Nithya Ramakrishnan, founder, Whitefield Rising.
After downloading the app and registering, residents in distress can press the power button a few times. An SMS alert is immediately sent to volunteers who are part of the group. One of them calls the resident in trouble to understand the situation. Depending on the emergency, a brief alert is sent on the WhatsApp group, following which a few persons rush to the attend to the emergency . “There have been instances of women being harassed on the road. One of the main reasons why we developed the app was for women’s safety ,” explained Uma Narayanan, part of Whitefield Rising.
The app has seen nearly 500 downloads in the past year; there downloads in the past year; there are about 50 volunteers to respond to emergency SMSes. However, the group is yet to receive a real distress call that would test any lacunae in the app. “Most of the SMSes we’ve got are accidental. We are taking steps to prevent this and have managed to reduce the number of false alarms,” Narayanan said.