In July 2013, STAR India’s Channel [V] unveiled VithU, a smartphone app designed to combat violence against women. The app allows users to send alert messages when they feel they are in danger, as a means of enhancing women’s safety.
The app was developed in response to the Delhi gang rape case of December 2012, which brought violence against women to the forefront of the national dialogue in India, said Prem Kamath, General Manager of Channel [V].
Kamath said the app utilizes technology to empower women. When activated, the app alerts pre-determined emergency contacts as to the danger and allows them to track users’ locations via the phone’s GPS.
STAR recognized the potential of this app to empower and protect, and the network endeavored to make it as available as possible. VithU is compatible with Android and iOS platforms, and STAR ran public service announcements promoting the app on all 34 of its channels, which span seven local languages. Since its launch, the app has seen 1.2 million downloads.