Published: 08th October 2021
Meet the Calicut University students who are working with the Kerala Police to generate awareness about their app for women's safety
A study was conducted by the varsity department that found "benevolent sexism" in the state police. This is how they've made the app popular
Do you believe that an app made by the police will help women feel safe? About 20 female students of the Calicut University in Kerala believe it might not solve everything but will certainly help. They are helping the state police generate awareness about the app, Nirbhayam, that enables a woman to alert authorities during emergency situations — it requires no internet connection.
Anjali Suresh, who is a second-year student of MSc Psychology, said, "We visited 20 nearby areas with large footfalls, and a women constable accompanied us. The plan was to explain to people how this app functions." The app allows the user to send a location to the relevant authorities by holding down the help button within the app for 5 seconds. Apart from that, the user can also send an audio/visual/pictures along with the location from within the app.
Anjali claims that students managed to speak to nearly 1,500 people, including awareness campaigns generated via WhatsApp. "They appreciated the police efforts and said they'll recommend their daughters to use it," she said. There are limitations to this app and hopefully authorities will work on them as this goes ahead, she said. This is not the first collaboration between the varsity's Psychology Department and the cops. Professor Baby Shari of the department said, "We have worked with them raising awareness against drug abuse, we have even conducted studies on the attitude of policemen in the state towards gender."
She added that this study conducted in 2020 and found that the state police are themselves sexist but not in a hostile manner. "It is benevolent sexism. They believe women are more tender, kind, nice and so on," she said. The app provides psychological comfort that will hopefully convey a message to women that police are there for them when needed, Shari added