Gurgaon, May 2 (IANS) Ashwani Kumar Narula’s dilemma was like that of any other NRI. He was constantly worried about his mother who lived alone in Delhi, and the frequent cases of crimes against the elderly by their domestic help added to his woes. What ifthere was a way of scientifically verifying individuals to ward off possible criminals and even track them if needed?
Today, Hamari Suraksha, an identity management and verification firm started by him, has more than 3,000 people listed with it, over 1,000 corporate clients, and several other individuals approaching it to register and verify their domestic helps, drivers, employees, contract workers, tenants and others in a bid to ensure their safety.
What more, the initiative, which has got the support of private sector investment, has also earned a favourable response from the police in several cities, including Delhi, Noida, Faridabad, Gurgaon, and Mumbai.
“Hamari Suraksha is built on the idea that given the high rate of crime in today’s society in hands of people you know, it’s important to verify a person’s identity before hiring them. While a police verification system is in place, it is hardly done in detail,” Narula, who has now relocated to Gurgaon from the US, told IANS in an interview.
Taking a cue from the effective identification system in the west like in the US, where a social security number also contains all the relevant details of an individual, Narula said that in their verification system, basic details, a photograph with biometric details, identity proof like ration card, election card, driving licence or Unique Identification Number, are registered. Fingerprinting is also done.
“Our data is in the public domain so that anyone who is registered with us can check it at any time. Security is a big issue today as cities continue to draw more and more people from all parts of the country, and there is illegal migration. If a person is registered with us, anyone who wants to hire him can check up his details first. The police have appreciated out efforts and we share our data with them whenever required,” he said.
When it was launched in 2009, Hamari Suraksha was aimed at registering all senior citizens whose database the police and NGOs could maintain.
Later, the Gurgaon police encouraged Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) to register home owners, drivers, servants and tenants with the firm. The Noida police went one step ahead by allowing them to set up camps in front of each police station to conduct this exercise.
Giving an example of how this system actually helps, Narula recounted an ATM robbery in Faridabad in which three-four people were found to be involved. “Fortunately, one of the robbers was registered with us as a tenant from a village, and his discarded ID card that we had issued was found. With that, the police traced the man to Rajasthan.”
In another incident, a woman whose driver went missing after the car he was in met with an accident was traced with the help of the verification details.
Efforts are now on to register all security guards hired by individuals, as well as hotels, malls, hospitals, and corporate houses with the firm. “We have been doing this for the last two months and hope to register five million security guards across the country,” he said.
Hardeep Singh Choudhary of the Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI), India, told IANS: “What the government lacks in infrastructure for proper verification, Narula’s agency makes up for. I recommend all security agencies to register themselves with Hamari Suraksha.”
Abhishek Sharma, a Delhi-based businessman, also said that he has registered his domestic help, security guard and driver with the agency. “In today’s age, verification of an employee’s or tenant’s identity is very important. Just a few days back my friend’s wife’s gold bangles were stolen by their help, who then fled, and is untraceable. I don’t want any such risk.”
Narula, whose firm has 100 employees in offices in Gurgaon, Noida, Mumbai and Bangalore to do the registration and verification process, added, “We are also in the process of developing a mobile application which will help trace your movements to ensure your safety”.
(Azera Rahman can be contacted at [email protected]