Kerala police is introducing radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology at Sabarimala from today in an effort to ensure safety of child pilgrims.
According to official sources, all children below 14 years of age will be strapped with an RFID band on their arms at Pamba, before they claim the hills towards the deity.
IG (Thiruvananthapuram range) Manoj Abraham told media that the initiative will be of immense help in locating children who get separated from their relatives in the heavy crowd every day during the pilgrimage season.
"Though we have been able to locate the children who got lost in the past, such incidents always give some anxious moments to both the accompanying relatives and police. With the RFID bands, we can track a child in no time," he said. He said that the frequency of such incidents increases towards the end of the pilgrimage season when the rush increases at Sabarimala.
Under the initiative, RFID readers will be placed at all the crossing locations. Whenever a child with an RFID band on his arm crosses the readers, it gets recorded in them. This makes it easy to track the movement of the kids.
The state police have joined hands with telecom major Vodafone for the initiative, as the logistics for the same will be provided by the company.