The safety of women is a hot topic in India right now, but what can be done in self defense?
Manisha Mohan, an aeronautical engineering student at SRM University in Chennai, is an Indian citizen and has seen first-hand how the country has suffered after the gang rape of a 23-year-old student in Delhi last year. In response, the student, with colleagues Niladhri Basu Bal and Rimpi Tripathi, have created a prototype bra that could help protect women during their daily lives.
The student described their motive behind the project (.pdf):
"After stepping into the real world we realized that our smile could not last for long as the threat to our purity and integrity always lingered on. Lawmakers take ages to come up with just laws and even after that, women are unsafe. Hence, we have initiated the idea of self‐defense which protects women from domestic, social and workplace harassment."
After talking to women in hostels about their experiences of sexual harassment -- otherwise known as "eve-teasing," the team developed a bra that would deliver an electric shock of 3800kv to a would-be attacker who decided to have a grope.
The SHE (Society Harnessing Equipment) comprises of insulator factor, a pressure sensor which is connected to an electric circuit, and a GPS locator. Eventually, the team hopes that the lingerie can be connected to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. Mohan commented:
"The pressure values for squeeze, pinch and grab have been calibrated. The force applied on hugging does not satisfy the conditions for actuation of the device, and there is also a self-actuation switch where a woman can actuate it by herself when in unsafe environment."
The prototype is also able to send a text alert to friends and the police station with GPS coordinates. At the moment the parts are bulky, but the team plan to refine the design so the bra is more wearable.
Image credit: Techpedia