Mobile app to help girls fight traffickers

| Sunday, February 22, 2015 - 10:14
First Published |

Kolkata: A mobile app is giving a new ray of hope to girls in villages of some West Bengal districts, where incidents of child marriage and girl trafficking have been alarming in the past few decades.

"GPower" was launched as a joint venture of Accenture and NGO CINI (Child in Need Institute) last year following a survey on the condition of educational programs among girls in South 24 Parganas and Murshidabad districts.

It has helped in saving over 200 girls spread around 20 villages from either being trafficked or being a victim of child marriage, its makers claim.

"At the fag end of 2013, we decided to conduct a survey on condition of educational programs among girls in South 24 Parganas and Murshidabad. At that time we came to know about the vulnerability of the adolescent and teenage girls aged between 10-19," CINI's Assistant Director Indrani Bhattacharya said.

"The education of the girls were stopped either midway or they were trafficked. Some of them were traced back. But we felt the need for such a software which could help us in preventing trafficking, child marriage and keep a regular track of these girl child," she told PTI.

"Then in March 2014 the mobile app was launched. It is a multi-pronged approach to save the girl child," she said.

"The project is a huge success. It is limited to 20 villages due to lack of funds. We have a target of reaching out to 7000 girls from 100 villages of South 24 Parganas and Murshidabad in next 3 years," she said.

When asked how does this app works in providing real time data and prevents trafficking, Bhattacharya said there are two-three stages.

Firstly, community facilitators or teachers in the villages are trained and provided with tablets/android phones which have GPower mobile app installed in it. We have now community. Their job is to register each and every detail of adolescent girls aged between 10-19 in those villages.

Using cloud-based technology, GPower ensures quick transmission of data to centralised servers, which allows real-time data analysis.

"Its analytic-based functions then process the data to provide instant insights. These insights create a continuous information flow that not only allows tracking of individual cases of vulnerability, but also reveals trends and allows forecast of results," she says, adding action is taken depending on which of the three zones of safety a girl falls.

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