Electronics City women's helpline to get app, website

Electronics City women's helpline  to get app, website

The students and the management of an institute in Electronics City, who have been running a helpline since 2013 for women in distress, plan to launch a mobile app and a website.

The mobile app and website will have details of their helpline, women’s organisations, NGOs and other guidelines to assist women in distress. Both the projects are scheduled to be launched by March this year.

Round-the-clock helpline

Following the Nirbhaya incident, a former student and a professor from the Institute of Finance and International Management (IFIM) Business School in Electronics City came up with the idea of a 24-hour functioning helpline ‘S.A.F.E.’ (Safety Against Female Exploitation) to ensure safety of women and help them in distress.

S.A.F.E. is the brainchild of Tauqueer Iqbal a former student of the institute and assistant professor (Personality Enhancement Program), Rajarshi Chakraborty, also from IFIM. They began to work on the concept soon after the Nirbhaya incident in December 2012.

The helpline, which was launched in February 2013, functions from the institute premises.

A student-driven initiative, the S.A.F.E. helpline (9611216862) caters to women who face exploitation such as verbal abuse, eve teasing, physical abuse or those stuck in crisis situations. It currently caters to Electronics City, Phase I, where a large chunk of IT companies are located.

Student committee

“Women fear stepping out alone after work in Electronics City. A 10-member core S.A.F.E. student committee attends to calls. As soon as a call is received, two to three student committee members visit the spot and enquire, after which appropriate measures are taken and help extended,” said Rajarshi Chakraborty.

Recalling an incident, Rajarshi said that they once received a call from a young working professional who wanted to seek a divorce from her husband as he was physically and mentally abusing her. S.A.F.E. members arranged for a lawyer to get her a divorce. Finally, the issue was sorted out peacefully.

The committee said that they have also received calls from women who have lost their way in the middle of the night and were unable to get any public transportation. In such cases, volunteers helped them by arranging transportation and ensured that they reached their destination safely.

Lavanya Kosuri, an active student committee member, said that they are creating awareness about their initiative by distributing pamphlets among residents and companies located there. She said that during exams, the institute management handles the calls.

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