October 20, 2020

Delhi: Himmat app relaunched with new features to increase women’s safety

Delhi Police has relaunched its women’s safety app with more user-friendly features to increase the reach of the app. The app now has Android and iOS compatibility and can be used in both Hindi and English languages.

In a bid to reach out to more women, Delhi Police on Thursday relaunched its Himmat app with more user-friendly features.
Launched in 2015, the app saw few takers in the last two years. A total of 91,682 women have installed it in their phones so far and the app has 31,859 registered users. Senior officers though felt that the numbers were not satisfactory and the reasons for the “low” installations and less usage were analysed accordingly.
It was felt that the registration process for the app needed to be made simpler and it should also cater to the Hindi-speaking women. Earlier, for registration on the app, one had to fill 13 -14 fields which involved sharing details of travel routes, office address etc. and the user also had to provide five emergency contact numbers. These fields have now been reduced to six and before registration, one will have the option of choosing a preferred language — Hindi or English.
“The registration facilities have been made smoother and the app is now bilingual. Earlier, only Android users had access to the app but now, iPhone users can also install it,” said Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, while relaunching the app. He added that the police will raise awareness on the app by visiting schools and colleges and talking to students. Patnaik was asked if the app, which asks the user to specify his or her gender, will also cater to men.
“It will primarily cater to women for the time being. It is still under consideration whether it will also cater to men. In due course, we will see,” he replied.
Shehnaz Bhata, a technical officer in the AIIMS, narrated her experience of using the Himmat app.
“I had used it twice in 2015 and 2016. Someone had rammed my car in 2015 and since I had installed the Himmat app a few days back, I decided to use it.
“After I pressed the SOS button, I received a call from the control room and the PCR vehicle arrived within seconds,” she recalled. Bhata added that an SMS was also sent to her brother-in- law, whose number she had provided in the ’emergency contacts’ section of the app.
The app received a meagre 9,141 SOS calls in the two years since its launch but the officers are hoping that with the user-friendly features and by increasing the number of platforms, they will be able to reach out to more users. The event also saw the re-launch of the website of the Special Police Unit for Women and Children (SPUWAC) with new features.
On the occasion, the ‘Handbook for Investigation of Crime against Women’ was also released.