December 08, 2017: Vodafone India today announced a first of its kind initiative in association with the Kerala State Police, to ensure a safe and worry free spiritual experience for lakhs of pilgrims visiting Sabarimala during the 2017-18 Mandalam/Makara Vilakku season. In line with Vodafone’s long-term commitment to achieve highest standards of health, safety and well-being in and around the communities that it operates, all children under 14 years of age will stay protected with Vodafone RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags that will be hung on their neck at Pamba, ensuring their movements and location can be tracked till the time they return to Pamba from Sannidhanam. This initiative will help prevent incidents of children getting lost during the annual Sabarimala yatra and free up the Kerala Police force time and efforts to focus on more important tasks on hand.

Dr. S. Sateesh BinoIPS - District Police Chief. Pathanamthitta, Karuppasamy IPS-Special Officer Pamba, officially launched the Vodafone powered RFID tagsinitiative in the presence of Ajit Chaturvedi, Business Head- Kerala, VodafoneIndia, at a function in Pamba, Pathanamthitta today.

Families travellingto Sabarimala with children under 14 years of age will have to visit the KeralaState Police office at Pamba and register to avail this service. Postregistration, each child will be provided with a Vodafone RFID tag containingeach child’s name, guardian’s names, contact number and relevant details. Whena child pilgrim with an RFID tag is found wandering in the crowd, policeofficials finding him would take him to the control room and when Vodafone RFIDreader reads the RFID tag, the whereabouts of the child will get passed on tothe mobile number registered in the card. The lost child would be in atraumatic situation, not necessarily knowing the language to communicate to thepolice officials about himself and his parents. Thus, RFID tag hugelysimplifying monitoring of child pilgrims and facilitating quick reunion withhis/her dear ones, in case of getting lost in the crowd.


Each time a childpilgrim with an RFID tag crosses the readers, the location information will getpassed on to the mobile number registered in the card. Thus as long as theVodafone RFID tag remains hung on the neck, all movements of these children canbe constantly monitored by the Kerala State Police force, hugely simplifyingmonitoring of child pilgrims and facilitating quick reunion with his/her dearones, in case of getting lost in the crowd.


Extending his bestwishes to all pilgrims visiting Sabarimala this year, Ajit Chaturvedi, Business Head - Kerala, Vodafone India said, "Vodafonehas been a pioneer in telecom technology and has brought several value addedproducts and services to make life simpler and better for our valued customers.The Sabarimala yatra is one of India’s biggest annual pilgrimages, bringing anestimated 40-50 million Ayyappa devotees from across India and overseas toKerala. Each year, the Kerala Police deals with several hundred complaints oflost children between Pamba, the base station for the yatra and the holySannidhanam. This is the first time Vodafone is deploying our globallyacknowledged RFID technology to benefit the masses at one of the largestcongregation of human beings in the country. We are proud to associate with theKerala State Police force for this initiative. Together, we seek the support ofall citizens to support our endeavor to keep your children protected and wewish all pilgrims a peaceful and happy spiritual experience at Sabarimala thisseason.”


Dr. S. Sateesh Bino IPS - District Police Chief. Pathanamthitta, said "The sheer number of people visitingSabarimala each Madalam and Makara Vilakku season, makes it a highlychallenging task to monitor pilgrim movements and prevent cases of lostchildren.  The Vodafone RFID technology tags will significantly simplifythe Kerala State Police Force task of keeping a watchful eye on children under14 years of age and empower our teams to focus on crucial policingresponsibilities."


Vodafone RFIDtechnology tags for young Sabarimala pilgrims will continue to be offered tillMakara Vilakku, which heralds the closing of the current Sabarimalaseason. 


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