May 01, 2017

Engineering students from Kolkata make device to ensure safer cab rides for women

BYPankaj Mishra

To make cab rides safer for women, students and faculty of Kolkata-based Institute of Engineering and Management (IEM) have designed a contraption that prevents undesired access to women passengers.
The device has two aspects. One part, a steel mesh, separates the driver’s chamber from the passenger. The other part comprises two safety latches in the two passenger doors that are welded to the body of the car.
“Unless the woman passenger opens the latch, no one can access the back seat doors and get in,” the Institute’s Director Satyajit Chakrabarti said here on Saturday.
The device is priced at less than Rs 1,000 and has been fabricated by students and faculty of the institute’s mechanical engineering department.
Explaining the motivation behind the innovation, Chakrabarti said: “Most of the incidents related to cabs happen when the driver or miscreants access the backseat where the woman passenger is seated. So a barrier could thwart the perpetrator.”
The institute has approached cab aggregators Ola and Uber and has also written to government transport departments for introduction of the innovation.

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Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.