Published: 11th August 2021
Three students came up with an idea to keep women safe and it'll 'shock' you
Guardian is the name of the product which is essentially a vest that can be worn by women at all times. But in times of need, this vest will send a jolt down anyone's spine who tries something creepy
After the horrific Disha rape case in Hyderabad, Osaid Ahmed Sharif (21), Faiq Hussain (21) and Mohammed Mutaal Ahmed Farooqui (22) were literally ashamed of sharing the same gender as the perpetrators of the heinous crime. Big on innovation, they decided that the era of SOS devices needs to evolve further. "Why should girls have to wait till when they are in danger? There must be a more preventive solution. An armour or shield of sorts that comes in between her and anyone else who tries to touch her forcefully," says Osaid, as he tries to explain the trajectory their idea took when they were coming up with a solution. But even though innovation was right up their alley, entrepreneurship was something they were not thinking about. Until they were incubated at EdVentures Park, a student-centric incubator, in 2020. With their help, they came up with their start-up, ForHer Safety, and Guardian, the armour that they hope will protect women in every precarious situation, the preorders for which started just a week ago.
The touchpoints are restricted to the chest and back so that to ensure that girls accidentally don't tase themselves
Guardian is a sleeveless jacket with 16 touchpoints, concentrated on the more vulnerable areas like the chest and upper back. Activated by a keychain and charged via a power bank, what separates the circuit from coming in contact with the clothes is a cloth-like rubber sheet they procure from Delhi. "We tried a rubber sheet, plastic sheets and what not — this part of designing the vest was a huge challenge. It was while researching that we came across this particular material," says Osaid who pursues Electronics and Communications Engineering from Shadan College of Engineering and Technology and is in his third year.
Osaid Ahmed Sharif, Faiq Hussain and Mohammed Mutaal Ahmed Farooqui
Still wondering what the vest does? Anyone who comes in contact with the touchpoints of the jacket when it's activated will be stunned with the form of 2,000 watts of electricity. The jolt of electricity is just enough to shock them into inaction. Their hands will recoil in pain and those precious few minutes will be used to send the girl's GPS location via an SMS to the nearest police station. "We've created about five versions of this jacket, jolted ourselves in the trials but most importantly, took active feedback from women regarding how they feel about the vest. In fact, we were planning to execute our plan on a bulky leather jacket, but it was after the suggestion of a few girls that we decided to go with a lighter, sleeveless vest made of 100% pure cotton denim that wouldn't look too out of place on any outfit," explains Osaid, who was born in Mumbai and currently calls Hyderabad his home.
They are planning to develop a removable tech feature where you can wash the jacket by just unplugging the wires inside
Osaid himself has three sisters and 17 cousin sisters, so even as a child, he has always instinctively looked out for them. "I've also come to realise how difficult simple tasks like travelling alone could be for them. I personally found this very irritating and this was one of my main motivations behind coming up with a vest like this," says the youngster while acknowledging the fact that the vest could do a lot more. The trio is sincerely working to make the product better so that they are able to, in their own small way, help make women feel safe.
Some stats to shock you
- As many as 155 countries have passed laws on domestic violence and 140 others have laws on sexual harassment in the workplace
- Adult women account for 49% of all human trafficking victims detected globally
- About 15 million adolescent girls (15 to 19 years) worldwide have experienced forced sex
- Fewer than 40% of the women who experience violence seek help of any sort
For more on them check out forher.tech