Friday 25 October 2013


'Suraksha' means Protection in Hindi. Some cases where women could have felt/been SAFE:

I – A Dream Cut Short –
Kalpana was a peppy, happy-go-lucky girl who loved helping people. She rescued & saved 25 young girls from trafficking. To take revenge for his loss, the influential person responsible for the heinous act angrily barged into Kalpana’s home with his goons. Kalpana hid inside her home. She desperately tried to call her boyfriend, Sachin. Sachin, in reality, Sanjay Singhania, was an industrialist, who had come to meet Kalpana in her building then and tell her the truth of his identity and propose marriage to her. He rang the bell many times. Not getting any answer, Sanjay left Kalpana’s apartment. Sanjay had left his phone in the car. He saw Kalpana’s missed call and called Kalpana. Her phone rang and her answer gave Kalpana’s hiding-spot away. When Sanjay arrived on the scene, he found Kalpana had been stabbed. With an iron-rod, the attacker hit Sanjay so hard on his head that caused him to suffer from lifelong short-term-memory-loss- Anterograde Amnesia…Before losing his consciousness, Sanjay saw the villain stabbing the iron-rod into Kalpana and Kalpana mouthing the attacker's name- ‘Ghajini’…

Scene from the Hindi Film, ‘Ghajini’…
Heart-wrenching to see that ‘Kalpana’ (role played by Asin) died without knowing that her boy-friend ‘Sachin’ is actually ‘Sanjay Singhania’ (character played by Aamir Khan), the head of AirVoice Mobile. Sanjay Singhania’s life got ruined. The young lovers dream was cut short…

II – Alone at the Railway Station –
Geet was haggling over the over-charging of the Mineral Water Bottle at the Railway-Station when she realized that her train had left. She felt threatened at Ratlam Railway-Station as she was followed by lecherous men, including the Mineral Water Bottle Seller. The men looked like they were ready to pounce on her. She went to complain to the Station-Master, who gave her these pearls of wisdom-

‘Zindagi, ek rail ki patri hai, ek inch ka bend aur meelo ki doori hai, 
Meri bhi kahi traine choothi hai, par un jamane me main MARD tha... Matlab aaj bhi hun, 
Magar tum ek LADKI ho!!!
Akeli ladki khuli hui tijori ki tarah hoti hai, 
Pata hai tumhare saath kya kya ho sakta hai... '

(Life is like the tracks of a train, a bend of one inch can cause a distance of miles,
I have also missed many trains, but in those days I was a MAN... I mean, I'm today too,
But you are a GIRL!!!
A lone girl is like an open Safe/Treasure Chest, 
Do you know what all can happen with you..)

Scene from the Hindi Movie, ‘Jab We Met’. 
Thank God, Geet (role played by Kareena Kapoor) met Aditya (character played by Shahid Kapoor) and both got saved!

III – Way Back from the Late-Night-Movie
Husband and Wife had gone to watch a late-night-movie. On their way back, unsocial elements attacked them. They beat up the husband and raped the wife…

Scene from the Hindi film, ‘Ghar’. 
Husband and wife roles played by Vinod Mehra and Rekha.

IV- Alone At The Station-
Shalini felt totally lost and helpless as she was alone at a station in Australia. Then, she was terrified to find an old man approaching towards her in that deserted platform. Her heart was wildly pounding… 
Suddenly, her friend, Aakash, came running there. He had come back just for her! Aakash’s sudden appearance took both Shalini and the old man by surprise. Aakash gave the old man a hug. “Did she scare you?”, Aakash asked the old man!

Scene from the Hindi film, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. 
Roles played by Preity Zinta and Aamir Khan.

V- The Night Bus-Ride At Delhi-
I was doing my MBA at Delhi. One day, as I was working on my presentation, I got very late at my Institute. My hostel-mates had left. I was to travel all alone to my hostel that was a good 45 minutes away. It was 9 PM when I boarded the Bus. The Bus was over-crowded with hefty looking men and there was hardly any place to stand. Still, I took it as I wanted to reach my hostel before 10 PM. The bus had just travelled a kilometer, when some policemen entered it. They asked all the passengers who were standing to evacuate the bus. I was filled with fear. “What? I have to get down with these men? Then, wait with them outside all alone, for another bus?” I was terrified to even think this...

What Happened- All the standing persons disembarked. Perhaps the main Inspector read my thoughts. As I started to leave, he said, “Miss! No need to leave. You can stay…” That’s how I was the only person who was now standing in the bus. Then, the policemen asked all the people, who were seated, to lift their legs up. The policemen then peeped down and checked under all the seats. It was a Bomb-detection exercise as Republic Day was 2 days later…

Note- This is a true-incident that happened with me a decade before the Nirbhaya incident…

VI - That Afternoon’s Hitch At Delhi-
My Hostel-mates often took ‘hitch/lift’ to and from our MBA Institute. They discussed the ‘smart’ or not-so-smart people who gave them ‘lifts’. I had joined them 2-3 times earlier. But, this didn’t feel right to me. I was soon the only person who took a bus to our institute. One afternoon, two of my friends, Sony* & Mili* (*names changed to protect their identities) took a lift. Two smart guys were there in the swanky car. Sony and Mili entered the air-conditioned car and settled in only to realize that it smelled of liquor. But, it was too late as the car had started moving speedily, and worse, they heard the car’s central-locking sounds… It was unsafe with tinted glasses and loud music blaring; little doubt that the outside world couldn’t see or hear them…

What Happened- The car had to stop at a traffic-light and luckily there was a Police-Van. Then, Sony insisted that the door be opened RIGHT NOW. The drunk men probably got scared and obliged. Mili was nearly in tears while recounting the tale of horror to us…

Note- This is a true-incident that happened a decade before the Nirbhaya incident…

VII- That Night Auto-Rickshaw-Ride in Mumbai-
We had been to Essel World, Mumbai. While returning it was pretty late. There was a long stretch that had to be covered by Auto-Rickshaw. While travelling, I found that the Driver was constantly looking into the mirror and checking me and my sister out.

What Happened- I asked him to look at the road and drive. Though I am a very peaceful and nice and sweet person, that night I felt I could bang his head & punch his eyes...

Note- This is a true-incident that happened with me a decade before the Shakti Mills-PhotoJournalist incident…

VIII- Cynophobic in Kolkata-
We were staying in Salt Lake, Kolkata. It is a nice green area with bungalows. One weekend evening, as my hubby was busy working on his laptop, I had gone for an evening-walk all alone. I picked up some 'Teler Bhaja' (Snacks Fried in Oil) and was returning home. God knows why I took a different lane that night… There were two dogs that started following me and started barking. Probably they were hungry and eyeing the packet of Snacks in my hand... I have Cynophobia- the fear of Dogs. Though it was just 7 PM, the roads were deserted as it was a Sunday… Though I knew that in such cases I was NOT supposed to run, I gave reason a toss, and actually started running! Soon 8-10 Dogs somehow joined in and started barking and chasing me… I saw a high Gate that was locked and climbed on to it and jumped to safety to the other side. On one side there were 8-10 Dogs that were growling like mad. But, was I safe on the other side of the Gate? Whose premises had I entered? What if the Main door of the House suddenly opened? God knows who stayed there… What fate lay in store for me?… So many thoughts raced in my mind. Though I am such a positive and cool person, I felt helpless that night…

What Happened- I waited for what seemed like ages, silently cursing my poor counsel. Then, when some people were walking on the same road and the dogs also dispersed, I gathered courage to re-climb out of the locked Gate and hastily walked to the safety of our home.
I sometimes think I got spared as these were just hungry ‘Dogs’ that were hounding me… I shudder to think- had it been worse-than-animal-‘Men’, the story would have been different…

Note- This is a true-incident that happened with me four years before the Park-Street Rape Case incident…

IX-  The Case Of The Empty Coach in the Train-
My daughter and I often travel by train from Kolkata to Bhubaneswar and back. Managing to book Rail-Tickets on the same sector is tough as Puri happens to be everyone's favorite destination! One night, we boarded the Howrah Mail from Bhubaneswar. I was surprised to find that my daughter & I were the only 2 people travelling in the allotted Coach. As a frequent-traveller, I found it pretty strange. Empty berths on trains in my sector are a rarity! I thought more people might board it in the subsequent stations like Cuttack etc. But, it was not to be… Not a single passenger boarded our Coach. I deduced that as it was festival-time, Indian Railways had added an additional Coach and as luck would have it, we got allotted! When the TTE finally came, I requested him to change our seats and accommodate us in another Coach. He said that the whole train was full and not a single seat was free in any of the other Coaches! This Coach was indeed a last-minute addition! The TTE asked me not to worry! He said he would sleep in our Coach! I usually never sleep on train-journeys as I act as a Watch-Dog being concerned about our luggage! Also, I am paranoid after hearing about the incidents that my friends have faced on trains. As the rest of the berths were unoccupied, the lights were off and the corridor was dark, I felt even more unsafe…

Note- This is a true-incident that happened with me two years ago…

X- The Purse-Loss That Proved Costly-
Miss Arunima Sinha was travelling in the train when hoodlums tried to snatch away her purse. She protested and put up a brave fight. They threw her out of the train…Her legs had to amputated…

Note- Miss Arunima Sinha recently became the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest.

(Click On The Image To Get A Bigger View)
Life is about enjoying the moments & getting to breathe peacefully, rather than losing composure in the moments that leave us breathless. Not everyone has the grit and spirit of Ms. Arunima Sinha. Trouble can say ‘HI!’ anytime! Sadly, we have to face them when they take us by surprise, rather shock, even when we have the least intention to interact. We can be attacked anywhere (home, work, road...), anytime (morning or night) by anything (adverse situations or wrong people). Unfortunately, such disheartening incidents are prevalent and continue to make headlines and occupy news and mind-space. 

*DRUM ROLLS* Presenting The Smart Suraksha App !
The Smart Suraksha App is an Android Application that aims at making women feel safe. At the press of a single button, this app sends our message of help to five pre-chosen & saved contacts and Police simultaneously.

In all the ten threatening situations listed above, the SmartSuraksha App would have been a life-saver. 

"I wish I/She had Smart Suraksha with me/her"

(Click On The Image To Get A Bigger View)

If God forbid, in case we are cornered in a secluded spot, our screams for help may go unnoticed.  A woman can alert 5 of her contacts and the Police simultaneously, simply by pressing a button, when seeking help at such a juncture. In that terrible situation, it’s a life-savior at our fingertips- like rubbing Aladdin’s Magic Lamp to summon Genie i.e. 5 contacts from our list along with Police!

(Click On The Image To Get A Bigger View)
The Smart Suraksha App ensures that we are confident of our safety as well as aware of the safety of our loved ones. An additional feature of this app is that along with our message for help, it also sends across our location even if the GPS on our cellphone is switched off. Thus, women can be reassured that there is help available at all times. All they need is to smartly use the Smart Suraksha App! 

I downloaded the Smart Suraksha App to my mobile-phone and these are my observations:

1. A Smartphone is needed- App can be downloaded only in a Smartphone. Time to upgrade our phones to be safe!

2. Smart Suraksha is compatible only with Android Smartphone now- Hope App is compatible in all available Smartphones soon.

3. Smartphone should have sufficient battery-charge- It’s smart to have charge in our Smartphone- not battery critically-low that won’t allow us to use the phone or the App! (Read more about my Phone's Battery Woes in - My Phone Taught Me!)

4. I found I can add up to 5 or more than 5 contacts in my listGreat!  I can add the multiple numbers of my loved ones as these days, many people like my husband, use 2 mobile-phones. I can add both my Neighbour Uncle’s & Aunty’s phone numbers. Then, of course, the all-important Police number...

Had Kalpana (in Ghajini Movie) got Smart Suraksha, she could have added her neighbours who could have helped. Police could have reached and nabbed all the criminals, including Ghajini.

The couple (in Ghar Movie) wouldn't have been subjected to the torture had police come on scene in right time.

(Click On The Image To Get A Bigger View)
5. I can type an additional message while asking for help, or simply using the App would send the existing Help message with my location to my chosen contactsDuring crisis, we are under stress and simply sending the message with our location details should alert our loved ones. We may not have the convenience/time to do additional typing or may not be in a frame of time to talk/express.

6. Location details are sent to my contacts as a link- My contacts need to be using a Smartphone too to access the link that has my location details.Saving landline numbers won’t help as SMS can’t get through nor can links be accessed… But, even if I save my Building’s Watchman’s mobile number, he will be unable to access the link as he is not using a Smartphone. But, seeing the message, he will become aware that I have faced danger at my home (he knows whether I am at home or not)…

But, there have been high-profile cases of Watchmen committing crime like the Hetal Parekh- Dhananjoy Chatterjee case. Had Hetal got an access to this smart App, she could have been saved. Our neighbours can be alerted on time and can nab the guilty on the crime-scene itself.

7. SMS charges are deducted for sending the Help-SMS to my saved contactsIt’s smart to always have sufficient balance to make calls, in case of using prepaid connection. Postpaid connections are at an advantage-as we can send as many SMS as we want! 

8. Contacts must check their Phone often- The App is helpful as long as our Contacts check their phone regularly and attend to the SOS SMS. It will help us if we choose Phone-lovers, who are constantly updated with their Phone, as our Contacts! They can surely be reached! I feel if the App can send unique alarm-calls to the Contacts, it'll be more effective... 

9. I need to save the Police-Number- If I am travelling to multiple cities, I need to manually feed the number as per the city. Wish the App automatically allowed updation of the concerned City’s Police number. 

I am sure this will be implemented in the future edition of the App taking GPS into consideration. 

Also, while travelling by Train, it will be a great help if the App would get updated with the Railway Commando/Police-Force on that Train along with the Police on the Railway-Station. Technology can help avert/immediately attend to disasters like molestation or purse/luggage-snatching/theft. Then, Geet would have been more at ease and felt under the umbrella of 'Suraksha' in the Railway-Station in the Hindi movie ‘Jab We Met’!

10. Smart Suraksha Cover needed for Women across the World- For women across the world, this App is a great necessity as Rape and crimes are prevalent everywhere. 

Wish the App works all over the world soon. Then, Shalini (in Dil Chahta Hai Movie) will never feel threatened anywhere in the world...

Final Verdict-
The Smart Suraksha App is indeed commendable for our times and a great smart step ahead.

With better ideas and technology, the future versions should be more advanced with enhanced safety features!  

The Smart Suraksha App will soon evolve into ‘Smarter Suraksha App’ & then into ‘Smartest Suraksha App’ by incorporating our smart feedback and suggestions! Then, the safety of women will be guaranteed further! Now, isn't that what we all want?

I'll love your comments. Please do share your thoughts below...


  1. Very Nicely Presented Anita ...Indeed such app is a necessity now-a-days..And Such kind of App must be popularized among the mass as much as possible..

    1. Thanks Harsha! Glad you liked my Post.
      Very true. Technology can save us thanks to Smart apps like the Smart Suraksha. Yes, people, especially women, need to learn how to be safe.

  2. Excellent post Anita!
    I was horrified reading your experiences! God's grace, may it remain with you for ever! The apps can prove to be a savior!

    1. Thanks Indrani!
      Yes, the experiences were indeed horrifying. But, I consider everything as learning experiences. It's Life's way of teaching us!
      No doubt, our Smart Suraksha App can be a savior!

  3. You have pointed out the scenarios so well, Anita. We definitely need this app.

    1. Thanks for the appreciation, Sangeeta! :)
      Smart Suraksha App is much-needed in today's unsafe times...

  4. Very informative Anita and nicely written..

    1. Thanks for the appreciation, Maniparna!
      Some cases are from reel-life and the others are from fiction involved. But, truth is stranger than fiction...

  5. can anyone tell me that the app send the information to police also or not. Do i need to set up any police no in the app or it can fetch the no from mobile tower directly?

    1. Ankan,
      To write this Post, I read the available info about the App & tried it in my cellphone too. But, nowhere I found any mention about automatic update. I am not too sure if the App directly takes the info from the Mobile Tower.

      It would be fantastic if the App automatically took Police# depending on the city we are in. I have mentioned the same in my Post too along with other essential features that ought to be incorporated.

      However, I feel, we need to manually set the Police# of our city.
      Make sure to set a Mobile# as Landline# won't serve any purpose. The App just enables us to send SMS to the pre-saved numbers with our Location details.
      We better make a wise choice & selection of the important numbers...

    2. Anita if you check the Google Play website of this app, you can see that it is mentioned in the website that the app can send SMS to police also. I tried to communicate with developers of this team to know about that. But they didn't send me any response for that. So, I want to know here that the app really send message to police or not??
      However, it is possible for us to enter mobile no of OC of Local Police Station. But, it is not easy for everyone to do that.

    3. Yes Ankan. I had read the same to post my entry.
      But, as I have mentioned in my previous reply, nowhere it is specifically mentioned that the App sends message to the Police#.
      I don't think so, it does as I had tested the App before writing my review.
      Had it been true, the police would have contacted me, right?!!!
      We have to manualy enter the number.
      And as I have already shared- we need to enter the Mobile# as App sends messages...

  6. Nice article.god information and thanks to share.

    1. Thanks for stopping by & for your appreciation :)


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