Safecity is committed to creating safer communities for everyone. Our goal is to empower citizens by helping them understand the potential risks they could face in different neighbourhoods. We can do this by sharing our experiences or others anonymously and make these stories available for all. The platform serves law enforcement agencies with information on sexual harassment and other crimes occurring in public and private spaces. The platform’s data helps keep public spaces safe by enabling authorities to keep track of incidents and prevent sexual harassment in the future.
R U Safe? Design Challenge on making cities safer for everyone
Theme of the challenge – How might we engage people who are otherwise disengaged to make cities safer / reduce street harassment?
The Design Challenge which started on 18th November 2021 ended on 10th December 2021. The event was in partnership with the Australian Consulate General Mumbai, the Urban Informatics Research Group at the Queensland University of Technology Design Lab and the Data Duck.
The participants went through 4 masterclasses aimed at engaging people and encouraging them to be better bystanders. After attending the masterclasses the participants, in 8 teams, submitted 30-second videos or reels. These reels were then judged by our panel of jury members:
Glenda Caldwell – QUT
Joel Adsett – Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
Jackie Kauli – QUT
Prathima Manohar – The Urban Vision
Supreet Singh – RDF
Marcus Foth – QUT
Verena Thomas – QUT
The reels were all outstanding and after an intense deliberation session the teams below emerged as winners:
Team Wings: Kajal Antil, Swapnil Purohit, Saloni Gupta
Team Murphy: Kushagra Srivastava, Nikita Chopra, Nikhila Vallae, Tinisha Dhankar
Team Bravehearts: Riya Choithani
At the end of the challenge, the teams were given an opportunity to be individually mentored by Supreet K Singh who shared valuable insights to help them refine their reels.
Here’s some feedback we received from the participants along the way.
“The RDF Design Challenge was indeed a beneficial event to participate in. The masterclasses provided were an aid in building the final product along with getting insights on various topics. As we had a time duration even for the smallest task, it helped increase our efficiency in coming up with ideas. The best part is that the challenge didn’t end after submissions, as we received detailed feedback on how we could improve our creations.” – Kanishka Kapoor
“As an urban planner, I learned that town places and nodes are designed and managed in the sort of manner that residents feel safe from violence and crime. The Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 11, as well as the New Urban Agenda, emphasize gender equity and safe, resilient, and inclusive cities. The safe cities idea for women includes their equal right to the city and public places within it, which includes their right to be mobile in the city at any time of the day, as well as their right to loiter in public spaces without any threats of harassment or sexual violence.
The Design Challenge helped me understand the importance of public spaces and users. It also provided insights into bystanders’ thoughts and experiences when they witness violence in public spaces and how these inform their decisions about whether or not to intervene. There are many cases in which violence happens in public places and people fail to intervene. Sometimes because they don’t care, but also sometimes because they don’t know what to do. The story of bystander inaction is not just about indifference, it’s also about shock or confusion in an unfamiliar situation leading to paralysis. Even good and empathetic people will not always know what to do.
As a community, we should explore encouraging maximum local participation in sessions like these. I personally learned a lot in a comfortable environment and now I feel much better prepared to deal with uncomfortable issues. Great workshop, well structured, good support from the mentors throughout the exercises. Thank you.”
– Ar. Swapnil Purohit
“The challenge delivered exactly what it promised. A challenge! It was an intense couple of days and there were so many visits to the drawing board. We were first sensitized to the issue and then thrown into ideation. We really had to push our creative boundaries! The mentors from QUT and organizers at RDF made it a seamless and engaging experience. I had a lot of fun and had some insightful takeaways.” – Nikhila Vallae
The group co-created this beautiful poem at one of the mentoring sessions.
Watch the final event of the R U Safe? Design Challenge here.
Accelerating Gender Equality Roundtable
Red Dot Foundation and the US Consulate General, Mumbai held a roundtable discussion on ‘Accelerating Gender Equality’ with the Consul General David Ranz on the occasion of the book launch of ‘SHE IS’ on December 17th at Dosti House, US Consulate General, Mumbai.
The discussion was moderated by ElsaMarie D’Silva, Founder, RDF. The guests included:
- Vaijayanthi Naik, Sr Vice President, Wholesale Banking HR & DEI, Axis Bank
- Kiran Manral, Author
- Harish Iyer, Jimmi Foundation
- Rukmini Iyer, Founder & CEO, Exult Solutions
- Prerana Langa, CEO, Roundglass Foundation
- Bharti Dekate, Founder, We are Ideas
- Ritu David, Founder & CEO, The Data Duck
- Sanjay Sethi, MD & CEO, Chalet Hotels Ltd
- Aarti Singh, Director (Admin), Department of Atomic Energy
- Kshiti Gala, Sr Manager (Research), Sannam S4
- Chaitaly Mehta, Executive Director, EKFPL
Along with some of the women leaders featured in the book SHE IS:
- Richa Pant, Founder, Harmony Inc: An ESG & CSR Advisory Services
- Sumaira Abdulali, Founder, Awaaz Foundation
- Aafreen Siddiqui, Regional Engagement Lead, Regional Innovation Centre, UNDP – Asia Pacific
- Seemantinee Khot, Sr Consultant & Evaluator, FAO/UN
- Deepali Nimbalkar, Sr Scientist & Head, Dept of Environmental Sciences, Vasantdada Sugar Institute
- Dr Rashneh Pardiwala, Founder-Director, CERE
It was a powerhouse of ideas, sharing experiences for inclusive workplaces and accelerating gender equality. Consul General David Ranz was impressed with the RDF work promising to collaborate on future projects. The animated discussions ended on a sweet note with the cutting of the cake jointly by the SHE IS women leaders and Elsa D’Silva.
Here’s the feedback that says it all:
“I’d like to thank you for organizing such a fantastic afternoon. The conversations in the panel discussion gave me goosebumps. Lots to think through, process and act on. Many thanks and I admire the work you do, to bring these conversations together.” – Kshiti Gala
“It was a pleasure to be a part of the roundtable and interact with an inspiring group of people. I would be delighted to stay in touch and learn from each other in this journey.” – Vaijayanthi Naik
Pic credit – US Consulate General, Mumbai
Cyber Safety Workshops – My Digital Rights, Delhi
Red Dot Foundation in partnership with the US Embassy, India and the US Consulate General, Hyderabad is organizing in-person workshops on ‘My Digital Rights’ in 4 States – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Delhi and Odisha for women and girls between the age group of 17 to 21 years.
The aim is to help participants understand different forms of online and cyber violence, learn safety protocols and feel confident reporting incidents. The workshops cover gender sensitivity, challenging unconscious bias and through case studies help the young women identify various online gender-based violence and data profiling and understand legal remedies as well as best practices in using social media.
We kickstarted the project with Protsahan in Delhi and facilitated 2 workshops with over 50 young girls on 13th and 15th December, 2021.
The module created for the workshops is custom made content.
We first started with a pre-workshop baseline survey with 20 relevant questions on the cyber world and a case study to understand the general understanding of the participants of the workshop in Delhi. We received 69 responses which helped us understand what applications the participants use and for what purpose. Subsequently, the content of the modules were designed to make it a relevant experience for the participants.
The module was divided into two parts – one focused on gender, sex and sexuality and stereotypes in society, and the other focused on how these stereotypical notions foster gender-based crime in the cyber world, data profiling and best use of social media platforms. Given that these are sensitive topics and the participants were young girls, we included various activities to make the session more engaging.
Activities included understanding sex and gender, how to express it, how to recognise stereotypes, identify casual sexism in songs/movies/ads/cartoons, empathy mapping of bad feelings with positive affirmation, identify legal issues and problems through case studies, make a written complaint to the cybercrime cell and file an online complaint to the online cybercrime portal, adjusting privacy settings on phones and apps and lastly making a reel.
Here’s what some of the participants have to say about the workshops:
“I did not have any idea about my digital rights. After the session, I feel like these lessons will help me in my personal growth and will open many doors of opportunities.” – Tabbassum
“I did not have enough knowledge about crimes that take place in the cyber world, but after the session and activities, I feel like I know better now.” – Sabina
Red Dot Foundation (Safecity) partnered with Durga for NGAGE 2021. NGAGE (Next Gen Advocates for Gender Equity) is the largest annual youth forum. It was held online so the audience could interact with thought-leaders from across the globe.
This year they focussed specifically on – Sexual Harassment Deterrence in Public Spaces.
They had 40 eminent change-makers from across India and the globe and about 17 engaging sessions like – ‘We have a right to Occupy all public spaces!,’ ‘Playback Theatre on Sexual Harassment and building empathy in a world that is devoid of it!’ and ‘How I experience Public Spaces as a woman’, just to name a few.
Our Director and CEO, Supreet K. Singh was part of the panel discussion on 10th December, ‘How public is a Public Space? Does it mean that I’m Public Property?’
Occupying public spaces is our fundamental right, and the Deterrence of Sexual Harassment in Public Spaces is our social responsibility.
Many a time, we wish to fulfil this social responsibility but do not know how to go about it. NGAGE 2021 allowed people to learn from thought-leaders and engage in thought-provoking discussions.
Nominations for She Is – 75 Women in STEAM
To commemorate India’s 75th year of Independence, Red Dot Foundation and Beyond Black are seeking to honour 75 Indian Women in STEAM (fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) through its ‘She Is’ book series. Please fill this form to nominate women in leadership positions who are driving sustainable development.
- A jury will pick the final 75 women to be featured in the book.
- Feel free to recommend more than one woman.
- Responses will be accepted by 10 January 2022.
- Self-nominations are accepted.
Under the Safe Maharashtra project, Red Dot Foundation has partnered with 6 NGOs in Maharashtra to create safe neighbourhoods and communities in 5 locations in Western India. This project is supported by The Australian Consulate General, Mumbai. The partner NGOs are SNEHA and CORO in Mumbai, Equal Community Foundation and Work For Equality in Pune and Dhanwantri and Swayam in rural Maharashtra – Satara. Each of these organisations works with women and girls as well as youth in their communities.
Our aim is to create safe spaces in these areas by crowdsourcing data of various incidences especially sexual harassment on the Safecity platform, finding location-based trends of the area and working community-driven solutions to local safety issues. For this, we trained people of the partner organisations on the usage of the Safecity platform along with training on women rights and gender sensitivity. People of partner organizations are spreading this information in their communities and collecting data on the Safecity platform. So far we have reached more than 1100 people through this program.
Staff member of our partner organization, CORO, educating women of the community about the Safecity platform.
“This platform contains a lot of information like laws, FIR process, nearby hospitals etc., and provides good knowledge. Through this app, we can enter the information of any incident that occurred and the exact location on the spot. People of our community have got this information through the Safe Maharashtra project and we have got a very good response from our community.” – Community feedback from CORO NGO.
Staff member of our partner organization, Dhanwantari, educating women of the community about sexual harassment and Safecity platform.
Staff member of our partner organization, Swayam NGO, educating community people about the Safecity app as a reporting platform.
Season 2 of beliEVE – A Podcast on Aawaz.com
In the ongoing series, beliEVE season 2 turns the spotlight on the stellar work by our guests which helps further the UN Sustainable Goals for 2030. Our host, Elsa enjoys amplifying the voices of exceptional women and is an inspirational figure herself, having built the Safecity app, she is also the Founder of Red Dot Foundation, working to end gender-based violence in vulnerable communities across the globe.
Check out the series where Dr. Dhanwanti Rajwade, Anesthesiologist and Wyonna D’Souza, Founder of PANA Wellbeing Foundation share the paths they have chosen and their thoughts here.
Safety Champion Campaign
The Safety Champion Campaign which began earlier this year picked up momentum in the month of December. An email blast was sent to more than 1800 volunteers through Internshala. We conducted 4 orientations in December which were attended by 250 volunteers.
During the orientations, the campaign was explained to the volunteers and they were walked through the process of creating reports on the Safecity platform. Each volunteer who enrolled was tasked with speaking to 20 or more people about the sensitive subjects of gender-based violence and sexual harassment and creating reports on the Safecity platform.
209 volunteers signed up for the campaign and have already generated close to 1800 reports of incidents of sexual violence after speaking to people.
81 volunteers have already completed the campaign and have been awarded certificates in December. 56 volunteers have just begun the campaign and are expected to finish by 15th January.
Here’s some feedback from the volunteers:
“This internship taught me about numerous sorts of sexual violence that occur in our society as well as the laws that can assist them. I realized how even the locality I stay in has numerous cases and how a location can help me avoid that area by using the Safecity app.
Although my internship has come to an end, I would still like to work with your team and do whatever I can for this cause. I will continue to use the Safecity app and recommend my friends and colleges to do the same.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and the amazing app that you guys worked on. It is totally making a difference.” – Sai Yasheswini Kandimalla
“In this internship, the hardest thing was to assure people that their experiences shall remain anonymous. Making them believe you or confide in you is very hard. You have to gain their trust and comfort and support them emotionally so that they feel safe to tell you their story. It is unbelievable that every day somewhere someone is getting harassed and no one is noticing this. No one talks about this; they just ignore it until something drastic happens. We have to be better than this if we want to make our city safe; we have to pay attention to our surroundings. If someone needs help then get them help. If someone is afraid to ask, make them feel safe so they can trust you with their story. We have to take a step towards helping. We cannot help everyone but we can start by helping one. There are many platforms like Safecity that can help you with getting help. So, start helping someone and tell them to help someone too.” – Md Nooruddin
The Safe Campus Project involves youth, faculty and stakeholders in creating safe campuses for children. It aims to educate children, teachers and parents about cyber security, digital wellness, safe and unsafe touch, and how to fight against the abuse they might face in society. The project is being implemented in 200 schools in the Phaltan taluka of the Satara district in Maharashtra.
As part of the advocacy in ensuring the safety of children in schools and to ensure implementation of the POCSO Act, a meeting was held with Ms. Rohini Dhawale, the District Officer of Women and Child Welfare. At the meeting of the Safe Campus Project, safety concerns for children and the significance of the Safecity app were discussed. The concept was new to her and she appreciated the efforts and motive of the team. She further offered us to give her team an insight of the project and steps we have planned to work on in future, so that they can assist if needed.
The Safe Campus team also met the Child Protection Officer of Satara district – Ms. Deshmukh. At the meeting, the team discussed the project’s concerns and the Safecity app and its relevance. She liked the idea that we do provide legal assistance and information too through the Safecity app. And she assured us a supportive hand for further implementation of the project, and making the project a success.
So far, the Safe Campus team has shared Child Safety guidelines with 85 schools of Phaltan. Schools have welcomed this initiative and many are in the process of setting up a Child Safety Committee. It is a significant development in the implementation of the POCSO Act – these guidelines will help all create and implement a safe campus for every child.
At present, the Red Dot Foundation team is engrossed in the project implementation in the Phaltan Taluka of Satara District in Maharashtra, which has approx 200 government schools. We have personally trained and built a capacity of 5101 participants under this project so far. Till the 18th of December, 6275 people participated in sessions, of which 5386 were students, 539 parents and 350 teachers. In keeping with our mission and constant endeavour of the ‘Safe Campus Program’, we are advocating with the State Government to implement these Child Safety Guidelines in all the schools based in Satara, Maharashtra.
After each session, the Safe Campus team captures reviews from the students and teachers. Most shared that this concept was absolutely new to them, they heard of it but it is the first time that they could actually attend a session for the same. They collectively expressed how good it is to know that this project implemented by Safecity is sorely needed, and the sessions have been really useful for them. They now know about cyber security and how they have legal help at their fingertips if needed, through the Safecity app.
SafeCircle is a safe listening circle for survivors of violence and trauma to find support. During COVID-19 we have witnessed increasing numbers of cases of intimate partner / domestic violence and online harassment. Through these listening circles, survivors will find a community of support, share strategies to address and prevent the violence and offer solidarity to peers. Since May 2020 we have been providing psychosocial support to over 25 survivors.
Read on to learn more about SafeCircle here.
If you would like to attend a SafeCircle please visit here.
Intern Talks – Dhiraj
Safety Champion, Dhiraj Patil (pursuing BTech in Computer Engineering from G H Raisoni College Of Engineering and Management, Pune) volunteered with Red Dot Foundation to reach out to family and friends to capture experiences of gender-based violence. After finding the experience insightful, he went on to be a part of the Community Champion Campaign – to create safe communities by using crowdsourced data.
While working on this campaign, he noticed that there are very few reports on the Safecity app from his area – Wagholi and Latur in Maharashtra, so he created a team of volunteers from that area and mobilized them to be Safety Champions.
He has actively volunteered with projects too, besides adding translation work for the Safecity platform. He has been assisting in the self-defence sessions on the Safe Campus project. He has been a key translator to our Young Trainer Ms. Sonia Jain (a US citizen) and the Young Girl Leaders – Safecity Ambassadors (based in rural areas of Maharashtra). He has been dedicated and committed to helping make a difference in the safety of all.
Key points to understand through data
Click here to see the Safecity Data Graphics for the month of December.
Safecity Reporting Platform
Safecity is a platform as a service product that powers communities, police and city government to prevent violence in public and private spaces. Our technology stack collects and analyses crowdsourced, anonymous reports of violent crime, identifying patterns and key insights. This data enables citizens, researchers and policymakers to create safer spaces by:
- Increasing awareness, transparency and public accountability
- Improving policy and tactical precision with data-led insights
- Optimising budgets to more effectively allocate resources
Get in touch if you want to be a Safecity partner.
- 10 Jan 2022 – Nominations for She Is – 75 Women in STEAM. Please fill this form to nominate women in leadership positions who are driving sustainable development.
- 10 Jan 2022 – Apply for the Change-Maker Fellowship under project #QueerHifazat. Register here.
- 18 Jan – 5 pm IST – Final pitch of the Community Intervention Challenge. Register here.
- 28 Jan – 5 pm IST – Introductory session of the Data Visualisation Challenge. Register here.
- 2 Feb – 06.30 pm IST – Putting Women at the Centre of Sustainable Development, panel discussion at the virtual 2022 ECOSOC Partnership Forum. Register here.
- Tweetchats every Friday at 9 pm IST on Twitter at @TheSafecityApp.
- Responsible Tourism Incubator. If you’d like to offer your mentorship, please do register here.
- Community Intervention Challenge
- Safety Champion Campaign
- Safe Campus Project, Phaltan, Satara
- Community Champion Campaign