Safecity Monthly Update – August 2020


SafeCircle is organised every Friday from 3 to 5 pm IST which is now growing with new members joining every week. Some of the members have expressed that they find solidarity against what is now being called the “Shadow Pandemic”.  During COVID19, the cases of such violence are on the rise and it is difficult for women and girls to report these acts, speak up, find help, and also access resources. Thus, SafeCircle is a safe space for survivors of violence to find a community of support, share strategies, voice their experiences and learn different ways to deal with violence and also boost their confidence to reach out for help. The session is facilitated by Supreet K Singh, who is a certified counselor and Yoga Acharya who through this session has helped members to find peer support and healing.

Last month SafeCircle was featured in an article by EL PAIS, a Spanish-language daily newspaper. The article talks about the current situation of women in India and how SafeCircle can be helpful in providing a safe space when mobility is restricted. One of the lines from the article reads, “This is a community where people are free, though never forced, to share their experiences and listen with patience, empathy and without judgment; It is not a therapy session, so if anyone needs advice or legal help, they can find resources at the end of the session.” The article also talks about the features of the Safecity App and how it helps geo-locate hotspots of crimes.

If you would like to support SafeCircle please visit here.



Online Cyber Saathi workshops commenced in May 2020 which catered to the general audience. More than 200+ attended and through these sessions, the interest to get more information on cyber threats & vulnerabilities and the remedies available in law were evoked. With the onset of COVID 19 resulting in a lockdown, almost all schools & colleges now follow remote learning and hence digital space has become the new normal. Be a Cyber Saathi© (translating to “Be a cyber-friend”) is an initiative of Supreme Court Advocate N. S. Nappinai and supported by Red Dot Foundation – a unique educational awareness session on Gender Sensitisation and Cyber Safety, intended to take the messages and learnings on cyber threats and vulnerabilities to children and simultaneously to teachers and parents. 

From this month onwards ‘Be a Cyber Saathi’ commenced online workshops in schools and colleges PAN India. The focus of these workshops are to help with first level assistance through peer mentoring and to provide a platform to empower and enable children to assist peers and adults in remaining safe and preventing cyber crimes through knowledge and awareness. If you want your educational institution to participate in this programme, do contact us at


Knowledge Cafe

We had some exciting sessions in August on various topics. On 4th August, Harish Iyer, Founder of the Jimme Foundation moderated the session on ‘Understanding Bias’ where he talked about what bias is and how we often hide it by calling it a preference. Bias is not harmful as long as it is not affecting others negatively. Therefore we have to consciously introspect these biases in ourselves and act on them.  

We had a special series of webinars with the theme “COVID and Urban Informality in India – a Vulnerability Perspective” by members of the Bosch Alumni Network. The sessions covered the on-going COVID-19 pandemic impacts on India’s urban poor in significant ways, due to dense living conditions, inadequate infrastructure for sanitation and portable water, loss of livelihood opportunities, and more. Civil society experts discussed the current situation of urban vulnerable population groups through the lens of the work of their respective organizations. The guest speakers for these three sessions were ElsaMarie D’Silva (Founder and CEO – Red Dot Foundation) who spoke about the increase of domestic violence and the challenges women & children face during the lockdown, Pratima Joshi ( Founder of Shelter Associates) a data-driven organization, spoke about the difficulty of social distancing in the slum areas and Sharad Mahajan (Director of MASHAL) an organisation working on community development – housing, education, good governance, etc. spoke about financial support especially for the daily wage and migrant workers, who were most affected by the current situation.


Building Inclusive Cities

ElsaMarie DSilva, Founder Red Dot Foundation and Prathima Manohar, Founder – The Urban Vision both alumni of Leadership Network for Change at Stanford Centre for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, have partnered on an online series that discusses urban challenges around COVID-19.

On this platform, Politicians, Architects, Economists, Policymakers, Police, Development Professionals, and Advocates discuss several issues including designing public, heritage, conservation, human rights, transparency, policing, governance, and accountability, new forms of social currency to address social change, city-level responses to pandemic measures and more.

This month we reflected on the fundamentals of India’s urbanization model. We talked about water supply, sanitation, safe cities for LGBTQ+, and the use of art in urban design by looking at the socio-economic and political impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

Find new episodes every Wednesday at 6:00 PM IST / 08:30 AM EST on YouTube.


Sunday Reflections 

The Sunday Reflections series is meant to showcase interesting leaders across sectors and explore what motivates them, how are they coping during COVID19 and share ideas to inspire. Join us every Sunday at 5 pm IST.


Safecity Active Saturdays

Launched on 15 August in partnership with FitIndia Mission, Safecity Active Saturdays aims to build resilience in communities and help them deal bolster their mental and physical health. Alternating between fitness routines by Dimple Sopher from Fit4Life and yoga and meditation by Yoga Acharya Supreet K Singh we have various corporate employees participating. Join us every Saturday at 9 am IST.



Bal Suraksha Rise Up 

This pandemic has made it difficult for us to go to the schools and continue the work that we were doing to make schools safer for children in Satara. Thus, Red Dot Foundation started online sessions for all the schools we are working within Satara as part of the Bal Suraksha Project.

Innovative and interactive sessions were included to involve and facilitate the children, parents and teachers who had very little knowledge on using online platforms. Also, to overcome the challenge for some who do not possess a smartphone, the sessions are conducted using a combination of Google Hangouts and conference calls. The objective is to ensure the children find the online sessions engaging and knowledgeable. Some of the sessions covered were: Physical and Mental Health in Covid-19, Prevention of child sexual abuse, Understanding how community can be leveraged for support, story telling to garner support for issues, Community mapping and more.

A total of 12 online sessions predominantly in Marathi and Hindi (suitable to the demographic) were conducted to engage with the children and school authorities. Through these sessions, the outreach touched 46 Know your right educators and 163 indirect beneficiaries. The parents and teachers have found these sessions very useful as it not only builds knowledge and skill but also creates a sense of belonging and community spirit.




Emerging Leaders 

Nisha is a feminist who believes that small things make a big difference. She is passionate about singing and dancing and is someone who has always wanted to chase her dreams. She pursued a course in Humanities and when most of her friends had gone to work in IT, Nisha, who had strong feelings to do work for social causes, was constantly searching for a platform to give back to the community. That’s when she came across Safecity, where she could voice out her opinions without the fear of being judged and where she had an opportunity to give back to society. She also learned about other NGOs, the causes they work for, and the effective use of social media platforms to bring about change. Working with Safecity as a social media and blogging intern has taught her punctuality, responsibility, time management, and the importance and joy of working in and as a team. 

Read more about her and her journey here


Our Global Newsletter

Do subscribe to the Red Dot Foundation Global newsletter if you would like specific news featuring our work across the globe.

Click here to read. Do subscribe if interested.

That’s all for this month. Keep watching this space and we’ll keep you updated on all our work and exciting activities every month!


What’s in store for Safecity in September?

  • Knowledge Cafe; every Tuesday! Sign up here
  • Feminism in Reel Life; every Wednesday! Sign up here.
  • Register for Urban Thinkers Campus 5.0 happening this month on the 10th and 11th of September here
  • Join us in SafeCircle, a Safe-Space for Survivors of Domestic Abuse, every Friday at 3pm.
  • Our Youth Ambassadors from Pune and Satara are actively involved with us through our digital initiatives.
  • Every Friday at 9 pm IST/ 11.30 am EST join us on Twitter @pinthecreep


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