Urban life is fraught with incidents where you may find yourself in situations that are a threat to your personal safety and security—of your own or others’ doing. Growing pressures of urban life aside, population explosion, disparity between haves and have-nots, inadequate medical and police resources, and shoddy infrastructure are a cause for and heighten this problem. The city pages of any NCR daily are filled with incidents of road rage, molestation, theft, dacoity, rape, murder, and many inconceivable atrocities.
Delhi, the country’s capital is no exception and in fact holds the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most dangerous cities in India for all and more so for women. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Delhi has been adjudged the most violent place in India. Reports published earlier this year show that the highest number of cases were of vehicle theft and snatching in Delhi. Robbery cases grew six-fold in the city between 2013 and 2014. House theft cases increased 300 per cent between 2013 and 2014. Motor vehicle thefts saw a 59 per cent increase during the same period. Rapes increased by 31 per cent and murders rose by 15 per cent. Deep-rooted factors such as skewed sex ratios in favour of males in the region and broad borders with many possibilities of escape for criminals from the NCR region also have a role for these alarming rates of crime in the region.
Another reality of the NCR region is the growing number of industries which require employees to work at non-regular hours, such as BPO, hospitality, retail to name a few. A lot of these employees, many of whom belong to the Millennial generation have come alone to NCR from regions outside leaving behind families and so to speak their “safety nets”. This population also becomes more vulnerable target for crimes, as are long established residents of the region. Modern organizations today are well versed in addressing needs of employees. From offering time-tested benefits such as medical, house rent allowance, travel reimbursements, these organizations now provide benefits that support minority communities, working mothers, and LGBT community. Sensitization to the needs of these communities is factored in to the policies and benefits of progressive companies. It is time now for companies to take this employee care to the next level and address the real issue of vulnerability to violence their employees may face in our large metros today from criminals. The need of the hour is for a prompt, reliable and fool-proof safety and security assistance that is beyond simply raising an alarm but actually being present at the scene of the threat and protecting the individual from real or perceived harm.
Providing this service is not rocket science but it requires in today’s age of connectedness, a strong technology backed by a trustworthy and capable service. The government has failed citizens in providing this service and while it may be true that about half the crimes are solved by police authorities in NCR and the criminals are brought to book, the damage is already done where in some cases it may have been prevented with adequate access to someone who could help and prompt action. There are private enterprises that have risen to the occasion and are attempting to fill the gap that in developed nations is provided for the most part by government.
Because of the huge infiltration of mobile phones there are a lot of apps that act as an alerting mechanism to family members when ones security and safety are under threat. These are great communication mechanisms but in times of panic, the best of us may lose judgment of what may be the right thing to do, we need the assistance of someone trained who is well versed in handling a broad range of threatening situations, from fire-fighting to providing CPR to dispersing mobs to being well versed in combat situations, or as the situation demands. Loved ones though alerted may be ill equipped to handle these situations. Additionally, with the increasing amount of travel that employees are doing a similar assistance would also be needed for them in areas outside NCR.
In a corporate world where companies are becoming more aware of the wellbeing needs of employees and wanting to serve these needs holistically, the truth is companies cannot ignore taking care of such eventualities. Employers need to look after their employees outside the office premises where these incidents take place. A way for employers to walk the talk with regards to actual care for employees is by bringing on board such a service provider. There are a wide range of crisis situations we face on a daily basis and if a personal safety and immediate assistance service is able to make a difference to even the life of one employee, as it inevitably would then putting together this type of safety and security service would create goodwill not just within all existing employees but also prospective ones and the ecosystem in which the company co-exists.
Companies today are populated with employees of all generations, from Millennials to Generation X to Baby Boomers, each of which have different lifestyles and may be faced with unique type of exigencies. While considering such a personal safety service provider it would behoove companies to evaluate how completely such a provider would meet the requirements of each of these constituencies. Start with the basics—ease of reach through an app or a help line, an embedded GPS that would help determine the victim’s location, a command and control center that is able to guide callers until live help in the form of a trained responders team reaches, a partnership with government authorities, police, hospitals that are able to help in such situations, is a good place to start for employers and HR departments evaluating this much needed service in cities such as Delhi.
From guarding night shift employees and safe guarding women employees to providing peace of mind to employees’ families and coming to the rescue in hazardous situations, One Touch Response has seen it all in the span of less than five years since our inception. Forward looking companies are therefor bringing us on board as they recognize the reality of the growing number of such safety and security incidents amongst their people and the need for a service provider such as One Touch Response.