Coming soon: Raksha Bands for women in distress

The BBMP will introduce Raksha Bands, wristbands that will act as a security device for women in distress in the city.

The 'motion-sensitive' wristbands will detect any attack on women and send out a message or alarm to the police control room. The application used in the band raises the alarm whenever a woman in distress moves her arm to defend herself. The alarm will also alert the emergency contact numbers of the victims already registered through the app.

The BBMP will invest nearly Rs 10 crore on this project that has been named Suraksha Mitra. It is part of a proposal the BBMP has submitted to the Centre to allocate Rs 100 crore from the Nirbhaya Fund. CCTV cameras and streetlighting are also part of the project.

Mayor R Sampath Raj told DH: "Women's safety is our first priority. We will not only introduce safety wristbands but will also use the Nirbhaya Fund to instal streetlights and CCTV cameras in the identified black spots."

A number of safety bands and mobile apps are already available in the market. For instance, the city police have the 'Suraksha' mobile app which sends SOS alerts to the Namma 100 emergency helpline that will direct the nearest pink Hoysala patrol team through the GPS technology to track and help the distressed women.

But women activists say the authorities should enforce the law and order in the city, instead of relying on technology-based bands. "Security bands or apps are not useful all the time. The authorities should have zero tolerance for crimes related to women," said Tara Krishnaswamy, of Citizens for Bengaluru (CFB). "They must make sure criminals are punished so that these crimes do not recur."

In her opinion, the government could spend this money on hiring more policewomen and providing basic safety amenities such as streetlights and CCTV cameras.

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