Pukar App To The Rescue: IITians Aid The Police In Solving One Crucial Problem

Posted on November 21, 2014

By Amrit Vatsa:

Aditya is a computer science graduate from IIT Delhi. He worked as a consultant for few years, but soon quit his corporate life to start an NGO – People for Parity (PfP). As described on its website, PfP “works to curb gender based violence in India, via engaging youth to create deep understanding and action on gender violence in their lives and communities and engaging institutions like the police, school and university authorities, and others for effective prevention of gender-based violence”.

While working on various ways to make our society equally safe for all genders, PfP came up with the idea of a smart-phone based app that could help police rescue citizens, by dynamically tracking their locations (when in danger).

To rope in the police was anything but an easy task! Shashank Yaduvanshi and Ravikant Bhargava, also from IIT Delhi, added on to Aditya’s idea and developed the app (called Pukar), within a few months. But thereafter, the PfP team had to struggle for one full year before getting their first breakthrough with any police department. Credit for their first breakthrough goes to Arushi Mittal, another batch mate of Aditya, who is also his colleague at PfP.

By the time they had their app ready, a lot of other distress apps had already been launched, especially after the infamous Nirbhaya bus gang-rape in Delhi. But most of them only helped in sending out distress SMSs to one’s friends / relatives. Almost no one considered bringing the police in the loop. And very few considered live tracking of the sender’s whereabouts using the existing GPS feature of the smartphones. The few that did were not free!

This short documentary is the story of Aditya and his friends from IIT Delhi; how they almost gave up on the Police but how they finally did achieve their goal of convincing them about the value that such an app brings, not only to them, but also to the citizens in general. Pukar’s journey has just begun and let us wish them all the very best in their noble mission.

Download the app here.

Amrit Vatsa is a photographer and documentary movie maker.
Note: This article was originally published here.

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