Free Press Journal

Mumbai police starts SMS helpline for women travelling alone


Mumbai: The Mumbai Police today launched a free SMS service for ensuring safety of women travelling alone or in odd hours.

Under ‘Travel Safe When Alone’ initiative, any women before taking an auto rickshaw or taxi could message registration number of the vehicle to a dedicated helpline number 9969777888.

“Police will keep the track of the vehicles that the woman is taking and would get her location through GPS,” Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria said while launching the service on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

The service, jointly started by the MTNL, is free-of-cost.

Maria said in case of any untoward incident happening with the woman traveller, this service will be very useful in detecting the case.

The initiative is launched against the backdrop of sexual assault and murder of Andhra Pradesh techie Esther Anuhya recently.

“….This service has become all the more important after recent Esther Anuhya murder case,” Maria said.

“Moreover, this message service would act as a deterrent which would discourage taxi and auto drivers from taking to crime,” the police chief said, adding that woman will get an acknowledgement once she sends SMS.

Mumbai police will have the capacity to store up to one crore messages and they will be stored for an year, Maria said.     He said police will request RTO that the helpline number be displayed compulsorily on the dashboard of autos and taxis.

Maria said a help desk would be set up outside important railway stations to facilitate availing taxis and autos for woman and senior citizens.