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    South Korea Is Using Technology To Help Pregnant Women Find Seats In Trains

    By

    June 9, 2016

    Have you ever been in a dilemma to stand for a seemingly pregnant lady in any public transport, but could not decide if she really was pregnant or that was just obesity? Or you keep fighting the thought away whether the woman you just gave the seat to was really expecting, but you could not come to a conclusion.

    All hail technology because now South Korea’s second largest city, Busan, has launched a Pink Light Campaign which uses Bluetooth to make it known to passengers if someone needs a seat more than they do.

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    HOW DOES IT WORK?

    The pilot, called “Pink Light,” focuses on pregnant women. Busan City is collaborating with Daehong, a Korean PR company, for this. It consists of two parts: a small beacon that women carry around, and light-up signs installed on trains.

    Pregnant women are equipped with a beacon to be used on the subway. A pink light has been installed next to the seats reserved for pregnant women on the Busan- Gimhae Light Rail Transit. The light turns up as soon as a woman with a beacon enters the train and goes off only when she is provided with a seat.

    These beacons are available at certain locations around the city, though a proof of pregnancy i.e. a medical certificate from a maternity centre has to be shown to ensure fair usage of the device. Women can also register for them through a phone call as well as over the internet. The beacons last six months before their batteries need replacement.

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    This campaign is said to be useful for women who are early on into pregnancy, whose baby bumps are not yet visible, as per the Associated Press (AP) reports. This system is also effective at peak hours when the subways are extremely crowded and a new entrant cannot be seen by the ones who are seated.

    Busan wants to expand the Pink Light Campaign and cover all of its metro and bus systems, while currently it is just operating on a single train line.

    As having one of the lowest birthrates has always been a problem for South Korea (in 2014 South Korean women averaged just 1.21 children, according to the AP, compared to the average 1.68 children for women in wealthy nations around the world), and it has called onto its people to reproduce more, this campaign is also designed to improve the country’s birthrate, according to AP.

    While this move is a tremendous effort to help pregnant women, the campaign could very well work out for India, if it is adopted and used in all the public transports also for the elderly and those with a medical condition not apparent on the outside.


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    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

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