“Don’t come near me,” shouts the senior citizen, “or I will press the panic button.” “Panic button sir?” asks the robber politely, “Where will it ring?” “In the police station,” says the old man, “don’t come farther, I warn you.” “Ha, ha, ha,” laughs the armed intruder as he ties the man up. “I will press the button for you myself.” The bell rings in the local police station.
“Somebody put off that bell it is disturbing me,” shouts the inspector “Sir, it is the senior citizen bell.” “Yes, yes, it sounds like one, now put it off, it is tickling my ears.” The havildar puts it off. In another police station in another city the bell rings. The sleepy constable, looks at it and goes back to sleep. The bell continues ringing, he puts his cap on it to soften the sound, then goes back to sleep. The bell still persists, he yanks the wire till the bell comes off. He goes back to sleep.
Each panic button costs Rs 10,000/- ..! I believe the only time there’ll be panic is when the poor senior citizen is presented with the bill. Guaranteed nobody will panic after that. And in Mumbai with the number of assault cases on women commuters travelling alone in railway compartments, the railway police promised to post constables in every bogey. A few days back a lady journo got into a local train, there was no cop. She called the control room on her cell, they promised her a constable at the next station, nobody came, except some urchins..! She used her mobile again, she was again promised a police escort, no one arrived and she travelled alone near midnight, fearing every moment for her life.
As soon as a murder takes place, promises are made, proposals are talked about and plans discussed to assure people crime is going to be curtailed. That is one time everybody presses the panic button. The man in the police station hasn’t become a cop to fight crime, he’s there to make money, and till that changes, the poor senior citizen can buy his fancy panic button and we can go on calling the police but nothing’s going to happen, till you pres the panic button’ and do something about it..!