If your vehicle breaks down in the middle of nowhere, don't panic. This initiative by IIT Delhi provides 24/7 integrated and hassle-free roadside assistance across 28 states. And women get special preference!
Back in 2014, a few students of IIT Delhi were on a road trip celebrating their job placements, when, unfortunately, one of the tyres of their vehicle burst. This resulted in a fatal accident, with all students dying on the spot. Following their deaths, students and alumni at IIT-Delhi started the Indian Road Safety Campaign (IRSC), a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness on road safety.
Working with over 1,500 colleges, the IRSC has become one of the largest youth-led organisations in the country, earning multiple national and international accolades. An offshoot of their work has been the creation of iSafe Assist, a service which provides 24/7 integrated emergency and hassle-free roadside assistance across 28 states and 1,795 cities in the country.
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Launched on 31 May 2019 at IIT Delhi by officials from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and other associations, the iSafe Assist team comprises over 6,200+ authorised local service providers, who are on call round the clock.
While these services are currently available on call via a toll-free helpline 1800 419 7779, the makers will launch a mobile application in the next two months.
How does this work?
If your car suffers an engine breakdown, dead battery, a tyre puncture or you’ve run out of fuel on a national highway while making the journey to Bengaluru, for instance, here’s what you should do.
Firstly, call the helpline number, and an operator stationed in Gurugram will answer your call. Explain when they ask you to describe the problem, along with your exact location, number plate details, make and model of the car. They will also ask if you need emergency medical care or any other assistance.
Next, they’ll ask you if you’ve subscribed to an iSafe Assist package.
Before delving into with this hypothetical scenario further, note that the platform offers a range of services—roadside repair, towing services, ambulance and emergency cab services, fuel delivery, and flat tyre assistance, among others.
To avail these services, buy an emergency roadside annual assistance package for your bike or scooter, which begins at Rs 240. The packages for four-wheeler vehicles begin at Rs 720.
If you have not subscribed to a package, you can choose a callout service at Rs 500, while towing for distances up to 25 km will cost Rs 1,200.
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Coming back to the hypothetical scenario, once you’ve cleared questions about subscriptions, the operator will connect you to the nearest authorised service provider, which will send someone to your assistance within 35-40 minutes.
The designated mechanic will fix your vehicle, but if the problems are bigger, then the person will take your vehicle to their workshop while helping you hail a cab to Bengaluru.
“Another special feature we have added to this system is the emergency medical care,” says Deepanshu Gupta, while speaking to The Better India.
An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and a member of iSafe Assist, he continues, “If you need an ambulance, call on this helpline, and the call centre operator will connect you to the nearest ambulance. Also, there is a special assistance provision for women, particularly those travelling between 10 pm-5 am. During this time, women drivers who suffer car trouble will be given preference. Once, the authorised service provider arrives on the spot, the person will give her water or other necessities, arrange transport by hailing a cab, and ensure that she reaches her destination safely.”
Many people lose their lives because of poor medical aid after a road accident. To tackle such problems, iSAFE Assist will also trigger ambulance facilities by connecting people with the nearest hospital.
Representative image. Source: Free Local Business Listing India
The IRSC website says, “To reach out the nearest hospital via the service, you won’t need to buy any package.”
However, there are some improvements that iSafe Assist is looking to make.
“Today, you’ll have to give your exact location. But with the app launching in two months, that won’t be necessary, since it will locate you via GPS,” adds Deepanshu.
They intend to integrate emergency care services from more authorised providers to become one of the largest and fastest platforms. “These service providers can be government-run or privately operated as we wish to collaborate with every agency. We aim to provide the fastest service because speed is of the essence during emergencies,” Deepanshu concludes.
You can reach iSafe Assist here.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)
Images Courtesy: iSafe Assist