know the existence of the State Police’s Pratisaad app, but cops and citizens
say it works well in emergencies
The recent incident in which a 35-year-old woman had a harrowing
experience in an autorickshaw when the allegedly drunk driver went on a
frenzied run on spotting traffic police constables in Kharghar, has reiterated
the need for citizens to be aware and use emergency measures at their disposal.
One such measure is the Maharashtra police’s free mobile safety
app, which police have urged citizens to download. Dilip Kale, Senior Police
Inspector, Kharghar police station, said that in the incident that occurred on
February 9, the police had difficulty locating the errant driver as the
passenger was unable to reveal the exact location of the alleged offence. “For
a victim, it is of utmost importance to mention the location to his near and
dear ones and to the police. Timely help is possible if citizens, especially
the women, download the free mobile application to enable the police control
room to locate the victim through GPS and provide distress assistance,” said
Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner, Hemant Nagrale.
The app, ‘Pratisaad (ASK)’, enables speedy dispatch of police
services to the victims in emergency situations. On using the app, the person
in need can get police assistance within the minimum possible time, said
Rajendra Singh, Additional Director General of Police (Provisions), Maharashtra
Since its launch on June 15, 2016, around 1 lakh citizens all
over the State have downloaded the app, with over 8,000 requests generated and
addressed by various police personnel. As per Navi Mumbai Crime Branch
statistics, between January 1 and December 17, 2016, 4,608 crimes were
registered in the satellite city, as against 5,231 crimes in the same period in
2015. However, rape cases registered with the police went up to 135 from 100 in
The application has solved the problem of fake, blank or missed
calls on the emergency telephone number. “It has also brought in a lot of
transparency into the system, providing real-time updates to the victim about
the request generated. More importantly, it has empowered the citizen to report
incidents without any external pressure. This system may reduce crimes against
women, the elderly and law-abiding citizens,” said AP Shaikh, PSI ADGP
Citizens who have downloaded the app too suggest everyone should
use it for increased safety. “My husband has a travelling job and I have to
stay alone with my kids. I downloaded the app and tested it to know its
effectiveness. I was amazed at the immediate response from the police control
room as well as from my husband and brother, whom I have added in the list.
Through the app they were aware of my location as well. This has given me
confidence and I feel safe. I strongly urge all residents, especially women and
those who have to travel late or are staying alone to download the app,” says
Samidha Urankar, a resident of Old Panvel.
Riya Valanju, a Class X student and resident of Kamothe too says
the app works well. “I used the app for a personal reason and the response from
police was very quick. I appreciate the way they solved my issue and responded
to my fervent call so quickly. I feel all women should download it for safety
reasons,” she says.
Uma Vaidyanathan, a Belapur resident, says the app ought to be a
priority. “I have made sure my daughter has the app. If we can download various
other apps then why not the ones that give us security?,” she says.