Sunday 23 April 2017 News Updated at 08:04 AM IST
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Safety at hand - Deccan Herald
Safety at hand
Tini Sara Anien, April 13, 2017, Deccan Herald News Service
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ON THE WATCH Bengalureans feel that besides deploying measures like 'Pink Hoysalas', maintaining existing services and sensitising police personnel is needed. DH PHOTOS BY B H SHIVAKUMAR
The colour pink has generally been identified with women. And now the colour is used to symbolise power, be it to make a strong style statement or in support of women safety.

In a recent move by the Bengaluru City Police, the department has launched 'Pink Hoysalas’ and a 'Suraksha’ mobile application, which aim to make the city a better place for women.

Though the idea germinated a while back, the department rolled out these 51 vehicles from the 272 that exist in the city, only recently. The authorities vouch that this is the way forward and more measures will be implemented soon. Praveen Sood, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru City, says, "Both the features are complimentary but they are not exclusive of each other. The mobile application is a method of reaching out to the control room, instead of dialling 100. The person’s location will be sent to their two emergency contacts and will also be sent to the Police Control Room. The nearest Hoysalas, pink or white, will be sent to one’s rescue immediately.”

So why does the city need 'Pink Hoysalas’? He explains, "These have been deputed in areas which have a high concentration of working women. There are many IT professionals in parts of Whitefield, government employees working on Hosur Road and Peenya Road, professionals in the hospitality industry who stay in Hennur, Banaswadi, Kammanahalli, Ejipura and Koramangala and women visiting pubs and lounges in the CBD. It’s localities like these that we are focussing on through the 'Pink Hoysalas’.”

"These vehicles are different from other 'Hoysalas’ as they will have a lady police official onboard who will address the situation. "If the issue is not resolved, then the nearest police station will take over. This is an emergency response system and in 9 out of 10 cases, intervention from Hoysala personnel resolves the situation,” he adds.

Seema Agarwal, an IT professional who works late night shifts, says that it is not just these identified areas that are sensitive zones. "Trouble could strike anywhere. There have been times when I wasn’t able to connect to the helpline despite continuous calls.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened,” she says. She adds that apart from launching new schemes, maintaining or refurbishing existing services is essential.

Praveen assures that these "identified hotposts” are dynamic and the locations will change according to the need of the hour. "Our continuous research will keep updating us from time to time, about the places which need to be monitored more by the 'Hoysalas’,” he adds.

Others like Pragathi Badarinath, a homemaker, laud the new initiatives yet feel that a more vigilant watch is needed in the city. "Sensitisation of the existing staff is a must. I remember an incident where I was being harassed by someone through text messages and when I went to register a complaint, I was advised to get another SIM card,” she voices out. Belittling any situation could diminish the trust that citizens have in the law and order personnel, she adds. Pragathi believes that instead of waiting to solve a situation, keeping a close watch and creating awareness among the young and old alike is what is needed. "The police could mandate discussions and awareness programmes in colleges and even office spaces,” she feels.

Apart from assigning special 'Hoysalas’, there should be hotlines or special phone booths which connect directly to the control room allotted in every area, says Driti Prasad, a college student. "What if someone is out late at night and their mobile phone runs out of battery power? There could be network or other phone issues too and this definitely needs to be taken into account,” she states.

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