The number 112, an equivalent of the American 911, has now been adopted as the single emergency number for India. This means people can now just dial the single-number ‘112’ to secure help during emergencies such as calling for help from the police, ambulance and fire department.
All existing emergency numbers such as 100, 101, 102 and 108 will be phased out within a year, depending upon the awareness about the new facility. The move to have a single number for various emergency services has been approved by the inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission.
A number of states have also notified various helpline numbers for assistance to special categories of citizens such as Woman in distress – 181 (Delhi), Missing Children and Women – 1094 (Delhi) Crime Against Women – 1096 (Delhi), the Police headquarters helpline – 1090 (Uttar Pradesh), etc.
Now a person in distress will need to call 112, that will direct the call to concerned departments immediately for help. The service will also be accessible through those SIMS and landlines whose outgoing call facility had been stopped or temporarily suspended.
The service will be operated by a facility that will have representatives who speak Hindi, English and the local language of the state.