“Esther Anuhya murder case around 2014 was an alarm and has triggered a real fear for single women travellers in Mumbai, Especially in odd hours, late night and early morning when the only option remains is private taxi or an auto. Helping women travel safely in Mumbai. Mobile technology and SMS service then GPS tracking by team of police is what is going to help. Land line telecom giant MTNL has started a new and simple SMS service for Women safety. A dedicated number ‘9969777888‘ will be used by traveller and a team of Mumbai Police will keep watch on that vehicle she travels (Be it a Auto or a Taxi). Lets see how..”
Updates 2018 : This Service is CLOSED.
So what should a women do to feel safe before starting her journey alone in odd hours in our city ? Before sitting and starting journey in any Auto / Taxi, just need to send a simple TEXT SMS detailing the vehicle registration number (Example : MH-02-CCxx-XX) and sending it to 9969777888. As soon as the control room received the request, Automatically the GPS system gets triggered for keeping a watch on vehicle location via the Mobile number used to send that text message. If you are a women, i would personally request to make it a habit and take that one minute time out to stand in front of hired vehicle and send a simple SMS standing right in front of the Auto / Taxi driver. This way even the driver is alert of being tracked and will be on right track to destination. This service was initiated on Women’s Day 2014.More On Women Travel Safety
Another thing came to my mind when it comes to women travel safety is that already some initiatives have been taken in past like ‘Women Whistle‘ for help needed when walking in lonely locations of Mumbai lanes, ‘Safety in Local Trains‘ which is all about women guards keeping eye and ready for help. Another initiative being getting protected and safeguarding females who travel via ‘BEST buses‘, an few such in past.
My question to all respected women is that “HOW MANY OF YOU CARRY A WHISTLE DAILY ?” because if such services are provided to help you, you should make sure that you and your buddy travellers keep such safety handy. Oh BTW how many of you know which police stations to contact when needed ? Also Keep the above listed Mumbai police SMS number saved in your mobile phones. Have a look at what all helplines are available for women for all kind of help and needs as and when needed in Mumbai. Keep note of ‘103‘ the short code helpline number for women If possible catch a local train or BEST bus in late nights whenever possible, travelling alone in Taxi / Cool Cabs or an Auto should be the last option. Of course pepper spray is what female always discuss about and have seen in movies too.