Stuck during registration, Suraksha app disappoints

City Governance Safety

Downloads rose after awareness drive by cops

Though more than 2.4 lakh people have downloaded the Suraksha personal safety app recently, many are at a loss because of it has a technical issue.

The registration page in the app often freezes while registering.

Anjana D, an employee of an IT company, said: “After downloading it, we have to register our name, phone number and add two emergency contacts. When I tried doing this, the app got stuck on the page. When I tried going back, it didn’t work.”

An engineering student from the city, Vinothini R, informed The Observer: “I recently heard about the app and tried downloading it. After registration, it just got stuck with the page that appeared. Introducing the app for the safety of women is a great initiative, but such technical errors should be resolved as early as possible.”

The Observer faced the same issue while registering on the app.

Additional commissioner of police K Ajay Kumar conceded there is a technical issue. “We recently found that there is a bug in the software. It will be rectified as early as possible.

“Many have downloaded the app only after much awareness. They install it for their safety. The app is not just for women. Anybody can install and use it when necessary. Though it is assumed that it is only for the safety of women, it can also be used to report other incidents like a quarrel between two people or any other emergency.”

Many people who tried to register themselves on the app have said in their Google Play reviews that the registration hangs and they are unable to use it.

Women’s rights activist, Brinda Adige said: “Where women’s safety is concerned, I do not believe in these apps. The government presumes that all women will have an Android (mobile) or an iPhone. If the woman has any other phone, this app cannot be accessed and it will be of no use to her.”

Taking about the downside of the app, she added: “A Hoysala apparently reaches the spot in 8 minutes, and this is only when an incident happens within the city. We are worried about what happens after 6pm and about incidents that happen on lonely streets…. What is the facility of Hoysala outside the so-called city limits? Women are in the same spot as earlier.”

When the red button is tapped, messages are sent to the two contact numbers the user provides during registration. Also, the camera is switched on immediately to take pictures of the surroundings to send it to officers on duty. A call from the control room is promised in 40 to 60 seconds, according to the official.

When The Observer asked three women who had installed the app earlier last year to test the time taken for the control room to call them back, they received calls in 10-15 minutes.

The Bengaluru police commissioner organised awareness programmes about the app. The number of downloads increased rapidly after the drive.

According to a New Indian Express report on December 4, 2019, more than 40,000 people downloaded the app in just two days.

Suraksha did not receive much public support following its launch in 2017, but several people have downloaded it after the November 2019 Hyderabad rape and murder of a veterinarian.


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