India is a place where almost every girl feels the overpowering need to look over her shoulder when walking out alone at night or in some places, even in broad daylight. Even a UN-supported study says that 95 percent of women in the national capital Delhi feel unsafe in public places, while another controversial one by the Thomson Reuters Foundation finds that India is the ‘world’s most dangerous country for women’. Between victim-blaming and an increasing number of reported rape cases in the country, it’s almost become a pre-requisite for us to arm ourselves with some kind of self-defence—either pepper spray or a sharp object. Now, a new prototype invented by a Hyderabad-based duo promises to provide protection through a versatile wearable item: a ‘smart bangle’.
23-year-old Gadi Harish and his friend Sai Teja have come up with protective gear in the form of a bangle that sends out a taser-like shock when a woman’s arm is held in a certain position. It also helps keep her safe by sending out an SOS alert and her live location to friends, family and nearby police stations. This is similar to something a group in Mexico had made in 2018 called ‘Woman Wearable’, which was a jacket that had the same shock-sending technology tucked inside. Harish is now seeking help from the government to take their product forward and make it a thing for the masses.
The invention looks like a basic gold bangle but has a mechanism that sends out shocks to the attacker if tilted in a certain way. But while the concept itself is pretty handy and a reassuring advantage for any woman to have, it still has a lot of kinks to resolve. People have pointed out that this device can also be dangerous to the woman wearing it, along with bringing up how the device would work if a woman happened to accidentally bend her arm in a certain way. Meanwhile, many are questioning its wearability in temperamental weather conditions.
But even with all the complications, this device certainly has the capability to send shockwaves through the country when it comes to inventions for women’s safety.
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