A special women's court on October 30, 2015, in Mumbai awarded a death sentence to Chandrabhan Sanap, prime accused in the rape and murder of an 24-year old software engineer Esther Anuhya.
Pronouncing the verdict, the Special Women's court judge Vrushali Joshi said, "The case falls under the category of the rarest of rare, hence the accused is awarded death sentence... he must be hanged by his neck till he is dead."
According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau - In 2013, over 848 women were either harassed, raped or killed on every single day, i.e. a whopping 309,546 cases of crime against women were reported in the calendar year. Off the total, 24,206 were rape victims, which means every 20 minutes, a female is raped in India. If one were to include unreported crimes as well, then the number would be a lot more disturbing.
Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, followed by Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal were some of the prominent states with high rate of crimes against the weaker sex, notes the report.
Given such shameful statistics, it becomes of paramount importance for the society and the government to provide safety and security measures for the Indian women.
Perhaps the most convenient and prominent tool, in this case, has been smart mobile phone apps. There are some innovative apps or so called smart solutions which aim to help the women in distress.
Some of the basic common features of these apps are sending alerts to predetermined contact numbers and GPS location tracker - the activation features vary from pressing a button to shaking the phone etc. Here's a list of the some of the women safety apps.
bSafe – this app lets you make a fake call when you're on a blind date, and in case of trouble, the guardian alert button notifies friends and family of your location - has recorded over 500,000 downloads so far.
iGoSafely – Just by shaking the phone vigorously or unplugging the headphones, this app triggers the alarm system that messages your contacts - around 1,000-5,000 downloads.
SmartShehar Women Safety Shield Protection – Click a picture and hit the emergency button, the trigger will sent details to the emergency contact list while the 'Walk with Me' feature activates the real time movement tracker. Downloaded by 5,000-10,000 users.
VithU – One of the oldest women safety app, promoted by Star India Private Limited, has witnessed over 1 million downloads so far. Just by pressing the power button in times of crisis, the phone keeps sending updated location to the emergency contact list every 2 minutes.
Women Safety Help Totem SOS – The SOS button, dials 100 and transmits location to the police, it also takes a photo every 10 seconds and records audio. Has been downloaded by more than 10,000 users so far.
Raksha – Just by pressing the volume button, the app sends alert to the emergency contact list and also dials 100 – has seen over 10,000 downloads.
These apart, as a safety first measure, the VotaryTech in association with the Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) and Society for Cyderabad Security Council (SCSC) launched the 'SheShuttle' app for women office commuters in Hyderabad's IT park.
The solution is aimed at providing safe travel for all the women employees at the IT corridor in Hyderabad. It is equipped with features that help you locate the current location of the shuttle, plan your travel on the basis of ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) and ask the control desk personnel to keep a watch over you whenever felt unsecured with the help of track me feature.
The niche (area specific) app which was launched just four months back, as already seen over 1,450 downloads so far.
The apps can be downloaded from google playstore for Android and windows smart phones.