Vodafone, in collaboration with Kerala police wants to track children using RFID tags in the name of safety. The telco has taken up the initiative to ensure a safe and worry free Sabarimala pilgrimage. Lakhs of people throng to the temple during this time every time and Vodafone will provide RFID tags that will be hung over the necks of children.
The tags will be given to children under 14 years of age in Pamba, the starting point of the pilgrimage. They will stay protected till they return to Pamba from Sannidhanam, where Sabarimala temple is located.
The initiative, Vodafone hopes, will help prevent incidents of children getting lost during the annual Sabarimala yatra in Kerala. It will also essentially free up time and effort for the Kerala Police Force to focus on more important things.
Families travelling to Sabarimala with children under 14 years of age will have to visit the Kerala State Police station at Pamba and register to avail the service. After that, each child will be given a RFID tag that will have the child’s name, guardian’s name, contact number and other relevant details.
If a child is found wandering around, a police officer can take the child to the control room where the relevant details can be read from the RFID tag while will then be messaged to the phone number registered in the tag.
Moreover, every time a child with the RFID tag will cross past a reading post, the location information will be sent to the mobile number registered in the card. As long as the RFID tag is on the child, all movements can be constantly monitored by the Kerala Police.
The tags will be offered to pilgrims till Makara Vilakku, which heralds the closing of the current pilgrimage season. The initiative could prove to be a big help for the authorities which receive hundreds of complaints of missing children every season. So far, the police have used a public address system or wireless communication to locate lost children. RFIDs will enable easy identification even when the child is traumatised after being lost and unable to communicate their identity properly