A message has been getting viral lately, which asks women to call the number 9833312222 calling it the Nirbhaya Helpline number.
The above message has gone viral on social media. Several users have posted this message on Facebook over the past few days.
And this message has been going viral after the gruesome rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor in Hyderabad.
Doing rounds on social media alerting women about a helpline number, here is what it says:
“Send this Nirbhaya number to your wife, daughters, sisters, mothers, friends, and all the ladies you know..ask them to save it.. all the men please share with all the ladies you know…. In case of emergency. Ladies can send blank msg or can give missed call..so that police will find your location and help u.(sic)”
While many received this viral message and joined the chain to forward it to the ones they care for, others had doubts regarding the authenticity of the number.
Here the truth behind this viral message:
The message is misleading for two reasons.
The number was launched in 2015 by Mumbai railway police, it was deactivated and the service shut down in 2018. The number was also not a pan-India helpline number but was an exclusive WhatsApp messaging helpline number for women commuters using the suburban railway services in the city.In short, the number is not functional.
A keyword search using the number mentioned in the viral message – 9833312222 – leads to news articles from 2015 about the Mumbai railway police launching a helpline number for women which would work exclusively on WhatsApp.
A MumbaiMirror report informed that the number was to be used by female commuters to send complaints and alerts about safety threats.
The Mumbai police on 1 February 2018, confirmed that the number was active from their official Twitter handle.
What about the link?
Upon clicking the link, we were directed to the archived version of this website which originally hosted the message.
Therefore, an old helpline number is being circulated online in light of a gruesome rape and murder case in Hyderabad – do not call it, it became defunct in 2018.
In case of an emergency, one can dial 100, which applies to all states and cities in India.
Dialling 100 will connect to the control room plus each city and state has its own helpline number which should be saved and used for emergency situations.