Emergency SMS number
July 12, 2006
Chaos everywhere. Hundreds of people killed. TV Channels covering it LIVE. People near stations helping the injured to reach the hospital. Those near hospitals, getting in some food and volunteering for passing messages to their relatives and friends. Everyone doing their bit to help. TV Channels flashing SMS numbers asking people to send in messages to announce their safety or to find out if their friends are safe.
There are more than 15 news channel which are known and seen. There are many more in regional languages. Everyone has their own SMS number asking people to send in their messages. Now, how does Rahul pass on his message to his mother through a TV channel – how does he know that his mother is watching Zee News, Aaj Tak, CNN-IBN, NDTV – on which channel should he send the message. This is where a single SMS number would do the trick. There should be one single SMS number to which people can send messages in a disaster and all the news channels beam those messages in a ticker which are sent to that number. This way, someone in trouble or wanting more information is sure that his friend, family would read it.
There is revenue sharing involved at the moment for all the channels and the Cell service providers – but in case of a disaster, a single number should be sworn in. What say? It’ll be good if we can discuss this here. What are your views?