Having moved to Bangalore recently Mariam Javed usually took an auto to office for the initial one month or so. Being new to the city she was not familiar with the streets and on top of that there are quite a few areas in Bangalore where you would find signboards only in Kannada. That day she got late at office and was lost in her own thoughts when the driver took a turn and they were suddenly at a secluded place near some railway track. She reached for her phone to inform her husband about her location. The driver however spoke only in Kannada and when she looked around there were hardly any signboards. She got nervous but felt helpless.
It was during one of these trips that she came up with an idea that could become a safety solution to people traveling alone.
The perception that they will never get caught is one of the major boosts for these criminals.
Being a Delhi girl, the home of the dreaded Nirbhaya incident and many more she realised that prevention is better than cure. Along with few friends and a tech team support of few IITians Mariam has developed an app “Pocket Khaki”.
Pocket Khaki is building complete profile for drivers so that it helps commuter to choose a safer ride. Along with it, it saves not just your location but also the complete track which can be shared with anybody using “Pocket Khaki”. The app is very easy to use and comes in handy while commuting through various modes of transport from auto, taxi, bus, personal car, bike to even journeys by foot. If you are going to meet a friend, just share a trip by adding your friend as a contact. If you friends do not have the app, just share the link with the friend using WhatsApp/SMS/Mail etc.
Friends will be able to see your real time location and the complete track (path).
Building crowd sourced Driver’s Profile
One of the best features of the app is background check of the driver before starting any trip. Since the commuter has an option of adding other details like the driver’s photograph and the cab’s license plate, with each trip the database gets stronger over time, helping other commuters to benefit from the information. Besides, the contacts with whom the trip is being shared will have access to some vital information like current location, starting time, halt time and would simultaneously receive all trip notifications. This would be a great help to parents while their children are on trips or even commuting to schools and colleges and people traveling back from office after late night shifts. After all, how many times have we ourselves not turned sick worrying till the time a family member reaches home after traveling at odd hours.
Shake to send panic alerts
While developing the app, Mariam stresses on one feature that would be crucial in case of emergencies. During their research the team came across incidents where the driver switched off the Cab’s tracking system to stop communication with the taxi headquarters or simply clipped the Panic Button with pliers. To counter this problem, a PANIC ALERT has been added, which sends pre backed panic alert to selected contacts in any distress situation just by shaking the device 2-3 times even if the phone is locked. In future, Pocket Khaki would be integrating with various emergency services like local hospital, police station for a quick response from nearby emergency services – all for free.
So here is an app that has an impressive number of features that support all kinds of commutes covering even those by foot. It’s not taxing on the battery since users are tracked only on starting a trip. With a single tap panic alert and easy access to emergency helpline contacts like police and ambulance, Pocket Khaki could be a breakthrough in Indian Public transports safety related issues. Since trouble doesn’t knock on our door before coming, it is only logical to be safe and well equipped than sorry. Being a young woman entrepreneur, having opted to develop something for the safety and well-being of public, Mariam is an inspiration to startups in India who want to contribute their share to public interest.