Union home minister Rajnath Singh today (19 January) launched an Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) under which women in distress can call an all-India number 112 to avail safety services in 16 states and union territories (UTs).
“Persons in distress can dial a pan-India number: 112. Under this system, all the states have to set up a dedicated Emergency Response Centre, ERC. (Or) A citizen may Press the power button on a smartphone thrice quickly to activate a panic call to ERC. In case of a feature phone, long press on number 5 or 9 on the phone keypad will activate the panic call,” stated a government release.
These ERCs will be connected to District Command Centres in respective districts to facilitate the dispatch of Emergency Response Vehicles, and assistance to victims. “An amount of over 321 crore rupees has been provided for this initiative through the Nirbhaya fund,” the release added.
While this service is already available in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland, it is being rolled out now in the following states: Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir.
Two More Initiatives
Singh also launched two portals - Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences and Safe City Implementation Monitoring Portal - aimed at curbing offences against women.
Similarly, in December 2018, Ministry of Railways approved a proposal to earmark certain seats for female passengers in the coaches of Indian Railways to promote women safety during train journeys.