The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has today launched a pan-India single emergency number 112 under Emergency Response Support System (ERSS). With this launch, India has finally got its single point of contact for its citizenry in emergency, or in distress situations.
In other words, the number 112 is an all-in-one emergency response system in which immediate assistance can be sought from the police, fire and health services. The number is also a single-point help number for women and children.
Apart from dialling the number 112, the user can also file a complaint through an App called ‘112 India’.
Here is the Home Minister’s tweet announcing this number.
This ERSS was first proposed in the aftermath of Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi (2012) and was then christened as National Emergency Response System (NERS). This emergency response system is thus a government of India initiative being funded through Nirbhaya funds scheme.
Focusing on states before a nation-wide roll out, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had launched the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) for the first time in Himachal Pradesh on November 28, 2018.
Women Safety, a Priority for the Government
In ‘112 India’ mobile app, users can register themselves as volunteers also, who will receive alerts from fellow users in distress situations.
According to PIB, to focus on safety of women, a SHOUT feature has been introduced in ‘112 India’ mobile app so that women in distress can seek immediate assistance from registered volunteers in the vicinity apart from alerting the Emergency Response Centre. The SHOUT feature is only available to women.
In a nutshell, this single point SOS number will help citizens, especially women in getting immediate assistance. This will also play a pivotal role in bringing greater coordination between administrative mechanisms in different states of the country.