Fact Check: Viral video of police official demonstrating Kavalan app is true

A video is being widely shared on WhatsApp groups in which a police officer is seen explaining about an application named Kavalan that can notify the police

By Tejal Sinha  Published on  16 Oct 2021 1:30 PM GMT
Fact Check: Viral video of police official demonstrating Kavalan app is true

Hyderabad: A video is being widely shared on WhatsApp groups in which a police officer is seen explaining about an application named Kavalan that can notify the police officials during an emergency.

In the video, they are seen providing a demonstration of the application, where two boys are seen following a girl. The girl then just shakes her phone and the police officials automatically get notified.


Fact Check

The viral video is True.

NewsMeter firstly performed a Google Reverse Image Search of a screenshot from the viral video, which led us to a post shared on the Facebook page of Additional Commissioner of Police, Headquarters of Greater Chennai Police, Dr J. Loganathan published on January 12, 2020. The video shared by the Additional Commissioner was similar to that of the viral video.

In the video, he shares how the application works and also the importance and advantage of using this application during any suspicious circumstances or emergencies for the residents of Tamil Nadu.

The fact check team then performed a keyword search which led the team to a report published by The Hindu in February 2020 titled 'Explained: The Tamil Nadu police's Kavalan SOS app'. The report has a detailed explanation of the application right from 'What is Kavalan SOS?' to 'How Secure is your data?'

According to the report, the application was launched in the year 2018. However, the application saw a huge increase in downloads after the Disha Rape and Murder case in Hyderabad in 2019.

Meanwhile, a report by Times of India published on January 1, 2020 read, "After the rape and murder of a veterinary doctor at Cyberabad near Hyderabad in late November, Tamil Nadu director general of police J.K. Tripathy called on people to install the Kavalan app to help police respond to SOS calls. According to police, at least 9.4 lakh android phone users in the state have downloaded the app while about 60,000 iPhone users have installed it on their phones. As per the data provided by police Chennai tops with about 1.60 lakh users of the app followed by Coimbatore district, including the city with 45,000, Kancheepuram with 40,000 and Tiruvallur 35,000."

A recent report published by The New Indian Express on April 27, 2021 titled 'Kavalan SOS app to prevent crime' quoted A.T. Ramesh Karthik, District Child Protection Officer (DCPO), Chennai. He shared, "The team has visited over 400 teachers and briefed them on the workings of the app. When the teachers are taking online classes they can ask the kids to install the app. If the kids are in danger of sexual harassment or robbery, the child just has to press the button on the app and police will arrive within minutes."

"The unit also visited child specialty hospitals where minor girls who were raped or abused seek medical help. In some cases, the women who come in for the delivery of their child abandon the babies on the bed added the DCPO. It is difficult to give such babies up for adoption as there is no record of their parents. A simple alert would help track the parents," read the report further stating that the application can be used for reporting child marriages and domestic violence as well.

The team lastly found a tweet by Thanthi TV, a Chennai-based Tamil News channel on September 5, 2021. According to the tweet, a girl who was abducted in a car was rescued by the police officials within 20 minutes after informing the police using the Kavalan application.

It is therefore evident that the claim made through the viral post is true as the application is in a working condition and is being used by many residents in Tamil Nadu.

Claim Review:Kavalan application for women and children safety can alert police officials during an emergency when the phone is shaken three times
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:True
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