Today the world is aware of the December 16, 2012, gang-rape of a paramedical student in New Delhi, and the eventual death of the 23-year-old victim in a Singapore hospital. The incident generated widespread protests and outrage.
Following that incident, many young women raised concerns about feeling unsafe in the Indian capital. In fact, several IT applications were launched since then to provide security for women. I had blogged about this in January.
On International Women's Day held March 8, Meru Cab's--a radio cab service in the country--launched "trip tracker", which is an SMS-based service to ensure safety of women. According to a statement from the company, the service has rapidly grown to become Meru's most popular service. In less than 45 days since launch, over 100,000 customers have signed up for this service.
Through this service, an appointed person or family member of the commuter will receive SMS alerts about the passenger's cab location and journey details, thereby, ensuring a sense of safety and providing assurance especially for lady travelers and their loved ones. This is an opt-in service and is available free of charge to Meru customers.
On activating the cab tracking facility, the following SMSs are sent to the mobile number provided by the customer:
- a message delivered at the beginning of the trip, detailing the journey start-time and location where the trip began;
- regular SMS updates every 15 minutes during the journey with details of the location of the cab; and
- an SMS alert sent at the end of the trip with the location where the trip ended.