Vodafone RFID and Kerala Police Keep Children Protected At Sabarimala 2017

Vodafone RFID
Ajit Chaturvedi, Business Head- Kerala, Vodafone India inaugurating the child safety initiative at Pamba, Sabarimala in the presence of Dr. S. Sateesh Bino IPS - District Police Chief. Pathanamthitta, Karuppasamy IPS - Special Officer Pamba

Vodafone has established a strategic partnership with Kerala State Police to provide RFID tag for all children under 14 years of age who visits Sabarimala temple during the ongoing season. As part of the initiative, all children who are below 14 years of age will be provided with the Vodafone RFID tag, which will be embedded by the officials at Pamba.

The launch event held in Pamba, Pathanamthitta was attended by Ajit Chaturvedi, Business Head – Kerala, Vodafone India, Dr. S. Sateesh Bino IPS – District Police Chief. Pathanamthitta and Karuppasamy IPS – Pamba Special Officer.

Real purpose

The purpose of providing RFID tag is to ensure the safety of the children with effective tracking mechanism till return to Pamba from Sannidhanam. Moreover, the latest initiative is to ensure worry free spiritual experience for lakhs of families visiting Sabarimala during the 2017-18 Mandalam/Makara Vilakku season.

According to Vodafone, all children under 14 years of age will be able to stay protected with Vodafone RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags. The tags will be embedded in the neck at Pamba to ensure that their movements and location can be tracked till the time they return to Pamba from Sannidhanam.

Time saved

The main aim of offering Vodafone RFID tags is to prevent incidents of children getting lost during the annual Sabarimala yatra. Moreover, the valuable time of the Kerala Police force can be saved to a great extent and can be used for performing other important tasks.

How to get Vodafone RFID tag?

To obtain the Vodafone RFID tag, families with children below 14 years of age will have to visit the Kerala State Police office at Pamba and register to avail the service. After completing the formalities, each child will be provided with a Vodafone RFID tag containing each child’s name, guardian’s names, contact number and relevant details.

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If a child with the RFID tag is found wandering in the crowd, police officials will accompany the child to the control room. The Vodafone RFID reader automatically reads the data punched into the tag including the mobile number. The concerned parent will be alerted with the help of the mobile number.

Photograph 02 - Child safety initiative at Pamba, Sabarimala
Ajit Chaturvedi, Business Head – Kerala, Vodafone India inaugurating the child safety initiative at Pamba, Sabarimala in the presence of Dr. S. Sateesh Bino IPS – District Police Chief. Pathanamthitta, Karuppasamy IPS – Special Officer Pamba.

Commenting on the development, Chaturvedi disclosed that the Sabarimala yatra is one of India’s biggest annual pilgrimages with an estimated 40-50 million Ayyappa devotees from across India. Moreover, the Kerala Police deals with several hundred complaints of lost children annually between Pamba, the base station for the yatra and the holy Sannidhanam. The deployment of the premium RFID technology will largely benefit the masses at one of the largest congregation of human beings in the country.

Without RFID tag, it will be very difficult for the officials to know the details from a child who is in a traumatic situation. There will be language barriers and the child will find difficult to communicate with the unknown police officials. The RFID tag will simplify monitoring of child pilgrims and enables Police officials to reunite them with the parents in case of getting lost in the crowd.

Responding to media, Sateesh Bino revealed that the sheer number of people visiting Sabarimala each Madalam and Makara Vilakku season makes it a highly challenging task to monitor pilgrim movements and prevent cases of lost children. The implementation of the Vodafone RFID technology tags will significantly simplify the Kerala State Police Force task of keeping a watchful eye on children under 14 years of age. It will also motivate and empower the force to focus on crucial policing responsibilities.

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The advantage of the initiative is that each time a child with an RFID tag crosses the readers, the relevant location information will be passed on to the mobile number registered on the card. Hence, Kerala State Police force officials will be able to track all movements of the children as long as the Vodafone RFID tag remains hung on the neck.

Vodafone RFID technology tags will be provided to all young Sabarimala pilgrims till Makara Vilakku, which heralds the closing of the current Sabarimala season.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and currently part of MVP Reconnect program. He is also part of the prestigious ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com