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Women Safety app : Nirbhaya Review

Posted: April 10, 2013 by Ankita in Uncategorized

After the recent rape cases, a lot of women have started using their smartphones as a means of protection. A lot of applications float the Play Store/App store/Windows market which help with the safety of women.

Today I’ll be reviewing the Safety app “Nirbhaya“. The app is available for Android and Windows Store by the name Nirbhaya. It is also available on iOS by the name SOS- Be Fearless.

This app can be used in any type of emergency to protect women, children and your near and dear ones using a “Single” click Distress signal.

Features:

  • Sends an alert through SMS or phone call or Facebook Post with the  location to the configured group through GPS.
  • Can be used in case of attempted molestation, accident, family emergency or any other ‘customizable’ emergency alert called ‘Scream’ through pre-defined text messages.
  • The users of Nirbhaya are also required to submit personal details such as residential address, blood group and emergency contact numbers.
  • Users can configure their own list of contacts including police and other close relatives and friends.

My take :

  • The app is simple to use, thus even people with basic knowledge of apps will be able to use Nirbhaya app.
  • Shake2Alert is a brilliant feature, and will be helpful if the distressed has few seconds or is seriously injured.
  • The accuracy of location provided by Nirbhaya app is pretty accurate.
  • The user can store the number of police, hospitals and emergency numbers; which can inform these numbers quickly.
  • Overall, the app looks promising and should cater to all categories of people.

Screenshots :

Screenshot_2013-04-10-18-16-02

Screenshot_2013-04-10-18-16-13

I’d totally recommend this app.

Do try and let me know your reviews.

-Ankita

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This is a guest post by a guy who wants to put across a very strong point. Let NO mean NO, and not “try harder”. A must read for all girls-

No means No

First, let me tell you about myself.

I am your average guy. I come from a middle class family. I worked hard to clear my exams. I have a well paying job. I have travelled to Europe on many occasions. I love gadgets. I love cars. I love movies. I love girls.

I am decent looking. I am charming. I have had many girlfriends.

I am also a rapist.

Now that I have your attention, please read through the entire blog post before you judge me.

All this talk about rape being the fault of the victim has gotten me thinking. Who in their right mind can make a disgusting claim like that? Will we eventually start hearing people say that the victims of 26/11 were at fault for the massacre? Will earthquake victims of Bhuj be blamed for the earthquake?

Bottom line: I think whoever puts even an iota of the blame of a rape on the victim is plain stupid.

But.

But…

And this is a very sensitive “but” – and I completely understand the implications of what I am about to say, hence the double disclaimer – I also think there are things girls can do to avoid such incidents.

I know feminists will want to hunt me down and castrate me just for suggesting this, but please read the entire post before you judge me.

Personally, I believe that every individual has a duty towards self-preservation, so discussing these ideas is not counter-productive to getting the debate going forward on how men should change their mindset. The menace of sexual assault is so disturbing that we need to find solutions across multiple dimensions. Getting men to re-wire their brain is one such dimension. Getting women to be careful is another dimension. They are not mutually exclusive.

Enough has been written about what girls can do (or should not do) to avoid putting themselves in such dangerous situations. I am not going to repeat any of that here. What I do want to touch upon is something that I have never seen mentioned anywhere.

Maintaining the sanctity of the word NO.

This is where I must digress to my personal experience. I have dated a lot of women. I have slept with a lot of them too. I am not trying to brag, please understand that I am trying to make a point here. Having been that intimate with many women, I have what many of you would call data-points. That would not be my first choice of words, I don’t treat women as objects or numbers, but I am trying to make a point here. So please keep up.

Women that I have known for a long time, that I have even been intimate with, who have even confessed they love those moments of passion with me, tend to play a very dangerous game of “hard-to-get” with me. This is where they pretend they are not interested in sex, or make me work hard to “get” them. I say pretend because they readily accept later that they did want to get intimate with me just as much as I did, but the “game” is either an “adaa” of theirs, or a moral defense mechanism to avoid guilt later, or a way to show they are not really the “fast” kind. Either ways, if it has happened with me, I can assure you it has happened with many people out there.

I call this game dangerous because of the kind of precedent is sets. It essentially says that all that “NO” was a big farce. It tells a guy that NO does not really mean NO. That it just means you need to try harder. (You see where I am going with this?)

I look back at my experience with girls, and this shocking trend emerges. I see self made sex movies on the Internet of people and this trend becomes stronger. You may remember there was a sex scandal on the JNU campus that broke. Everyone talked about it. Many actually watched it. What no one pointed out in that video was that for the first 3 minutes or so, the girl (apparently already in a physical relationship with the guy) kept pushing the guy away. She vehemently keeps saying no. She ends up using all her physical strength to defend herself. So much so, that the guy had to eventually get violent just to “get” the girl. Shockingly, once the guy “gets” her, the girl is seeing enjoying the experience, even encouraging him to go further, almost as if the NO meant absolutely nothing. This is very similar to many home made sex videos you will find on the Internet. This sadly, must even be very true of what happens in many bedrooms across our country. In each of these situations, guys are being given the wrong message and the sanctity of NO being systematically destroyed.

Western civilizations take such NO very seriously. As a guest in a westerners home, if you say NO to another helping of their delicious pasta, you can be sure you won’t be asked again. Contrast that with India, where saying NO is probably the first response by default. Here, the host is expected to “fight through” your NO to come across as being genuinely hospitable. Combine that basic sense of “manners” with the dangerous “game” some women play and you have the beginnings of rape – specifically date rape.

This leads me to the point I am trying to make in this post. Of the many things we’re trying to do to reduce the incidents of rape, somewhere we need to start educating women to uphold the sanctity of NO. Let guys not be confused even in the slightest way about what the NO really means. It has always, and should always, mean JUST  NO.

Let women make this promise to their partners, they will say NO only when they really mean it. Let guys be clear with their partners, even a subtle NO will make them step back so their partners should be very clear about what message they send out.

Sure the timeless “adaa” of playing hard to get suffers, but atleast we get to see some real results on the ground. A fairly large percentage of date rape cases (sorry I don’t have numbers, I am just sharing my experience here) are attributed to an assumption that the girl didn’t seriously mean to say NO, she just said it because that is what she usually says in such situations. If even a fraction of those rapes can be avoided, I say it’s okay to wipe our hands clean of that “adaa” in the larger interest.

Sure there will many cases of rape where the animal inside just takes over, and these kinds of precautions won’t be of any use. But the one in a billion case of date rape that can be avoided because of this mindset change merits that kind of attention.

I for one have decided to change my moral bearings now. If a woman says NO even playfully, I will stop.


I wrote this post while traveling since my mind cannot rest. Since the current incidents have assured me that nobody else but ME has to take charge of my own safety. 

She has a guy with her, she is safe-> is one of the common notions, which a lot of women have. But the recent Delhi Rape case proved it wrong and has brought the brutal truth in front of us. No doubt having a guy while you’re traveling late night or through a dingy area is good but to entirely depend on them is NOT.

Everyday I see a lot of girls making claims that they are safe since they have a boyfriend, even if they are living away from home. They have a guy to protect them and fight for them. What they don’t realize is that the guy is not going to be there 24/7 and the guy doesn’t ensure safety. Instead of relying on a guy for one’s safety, women of today need to take charge of their safety to themselves.

Girls/Women/Kids need to be self-sufficient that they can kick balls of anyone who tries to misbehave. Women need to be mentally strong and should know atleast basic self-defense techniques. They need to learn how to get out of some tricky situations or how to use their bags/phones/magazines as a tool for safety. They need to have the inner self-confidence and let it reflect on their faces. They need to be mentally prepared to face the worst of situations alone. Even woman needs to set an example for others and show the men that they’re not feeble, they will not keep quiet, they will stand up for themselves.

Apart from this, we hear about a lot of cases where a boyfriend or a husband is the cause of the sexual assault or molestation or physical damage. Women need to learn to stand up for themselves and not face any kind of violence or misbehavior. There is peer pressure or family pressure, but if you don’t stand for yourselves; nobody else will.

Break the rules, but say NO to Injustice. Say NO to misbehavior. Say NO to anything that pulls you down.

More power to the Women community!


Guest post by a guy who believes you can be safe if you look at signs.

The government cannot make harsher laws to make you safe.

The cops cannot be more vigilant to make you safe.

There is only one person in this world who can make you safe. You are that person. Only YOU can ensure you are safe.

Here are some practical steps I have been sharing with my sisters. This is what I would like to share with you.

  • Be alert. Look for warning signs. Trust your instincts.

Is the area you’re walking through in the middle of the night really safe? Is the party you’re going to full of strangers exhibiting strange behavior? Is your boyfriend groping you without consent? Women know something is wrong about a situation even before they can really put a finger on what is really wrong about it. The tragedy is in not respecting that first thought you get.

  • Respect reality. Know the harsh truths about your surroundings.

Is your society ready for your freedom to wear what you wish to? Are people around you generally sexually liberated? Have the people you interact with been exposed to global fashion trends that not only tolerate but maybe even encourage the show of skin? It is one thing to say that you should have the right to wear what you want to, act friendly and intimate with anyone you wish to, etc. but a completely different thing to say that I will knowingly put a juicy chunk of meat in a pool full of starving piranhas and expect them to not pounce on it. Sure women’s rights activist will want to hang me for saying this, but to them I say just one thing – please live to fight the battle another day. What needs to be changed is the male mindset. If you truly want to win this battle, be prepared to fight a long and tiring battle. And prepare to live. Taking your chances out there on the minefield will not help.

  • Stand up for others in distress.

Are you the kinds who is holding a candle in one of the protests today but on some other day have quietly seen someone’s daughter or sister get eve teased or assaulted in public without helping them? Shame on you! If you really want to take a stand against assaults on women, that candle light vigil will do nothing compared to what assisting a woman in need can do. This really is the most under rated strategy to bring about a change in the male mindset. Show the males their disgusting attitudes will not be tolerated and you have a chance of curing them of their ill. Show them that the might of the decent folks far outshine the might of the disgusting folks and you have a chance to strike fear in their hearts the way no harsh law ever could. The domino effect of that act can ensure someone else who may target you in the future is already discouraged.

  • Learn self defense. Not just physical but mental and emotional too.

You think rape is only physical? You think it is just the body that gets violated? Wrong. The assault is always at multiple levels. And so should your self defense be. For times when all your precautions fail you, sure you should learn Judo, Karate or anything else you can enroll for. But also know that if, God forbid, the unthinkable happens, you are not the one at fault. You are not to be blamed. The shame must fall on the perpetrators of that heinous act. Don’t get into a cocoon and let those bastards walk free. Fight them. And the spineless others who might discourage you. They may have struck first, but you can still finish it!


Guest post by @GalenesBombayia / Shilpa. She talks about a completely different perspective of a girl on the recent Delhi Rape case and crimes against women.

While the Nation mourns to the heinous act of mankind which engulfed a woman of twenty-three and her male friend brutally on an evening like any other in India’s capital, Delhi, I have come face to face upon a path which slowly eats me from within as I attempt to understand the issue of rising crimes against women with my non-Delhite friends and elders alike.

Having arrived to India five years ago from an entirely different environment back in the West where I practically spend my entire life, I was certainly in for a rude shock. It is not that I did not know that there is the so called innocent “eve-teasing” and minute groping which I should learn to adjust with if I plan to avoid any trouble for me and my family, though what did alarm me was the attitude towards it all. If I am seen wearing anything above my knees by my neighbourhood men then I am apparently inviting it.  My father calls it keeping the “undesired attention” under wraps.

I come from a fairly liberal middle class family who had never lifted a brow on as to what I wear, the men I hang out with and what time I came home, back abroad. So when one by one every right or rather preference was snatched away I struggled. Struggled with my parents and their sudden conservative outlook towards life and me. Days would go in absolute furry and cold silence between me and them. When I threw tantrums as to why can I not wear my micro shorts as the terrible Delhi weather demands it and some girls do, my father would say, “I don’t have a chauffeur and you take the public transport”, whereas, before my mother could utter a word my grandmother would echo her exceptionally irksome statement on the fact that such girls do not come from good families and each time I clenched my teeth and walked away for the sake of harmony in the family as all Indian mothers I guess teach you to do. However, I demand to know what does clothes, language and preferences be it of any sphere have to do with one’s character as long as they are not creating a hindrance in maintaining decorum to a place, basically implying that a bikini is apt on a beach while in a conference it seems not. The activities in a particular arena of one’s life should not have a negative implication on another.

Yet, as I fought endlessly with those around me and myself, I could slowly see myself losing the battle; kurtis, jeans and duppata replaced the dresses, shorts and tank tops. As time passed I came to register the fact that if I want to remain away from terrible consequences which may shatter my well-being I should simply alter my dress code. Time constraints and giving an hourly update of my location was nothing unnatural anymore for a girl who earlier knew no bounds. The regular rape cases made me realize that perhaps my parents were right after all. So when Barkha Dutt tweeted on Twitter after the gang rape occurred in the cities busiest places, “If you curb your daughter’s life from fear, you let the rapists win. So set her free. And let her fight. And demand safer cities.” it certainly strung a bitter cord which had a larger resonance than all those favs that the tweet got. After all who would know better than a woman who in her bloom fought with herself and her family to reclaim her mere right to assert her preferences like so many others.

The concepts of freedom, freewill and equality which were inherent in my very being took a back seat when I embraced silence for my parent’s convenience. Till safety laws and policies only do lip-service who would want to stand up to fight for the cause which is sooner or later forgotten amidst the rat race which each finds themselves in? When the government and its law makers are critical victims of the post-facto system, who would have the courage to divert from their guardian’s words which remind you time and again to learn from other’s mistakes?

All the current sentiments and expressions of unjust treatment are understandable. Yet, how does one explain to a Mumbaikar whose day starts at two in the night that while the police there has a strong hold on its subjects, here they are unfortunately a mocked lot. With all due respect to the victim I do wonder that perhaps had she been a bit more careful as to not board a tinted bus which was not even running on route that day then today her fate may have been somewhat different. Perhaps had she observed that all the passengers were men and appeared mischievous in one way or the other then the indomitable spirit the victim has displayed while battling for her life need not have been even called for.

In no context is the victim to be blamed for what transpired on that unfortunate evening. Though, a being without power like millions in the country does question themselves as to why did the victim have to commit the “mistake” of being unaware of her circumstances for even once as when our so called protectors cannot guarantee our safety then she should have understood that it’s in her own hands to do so.