Safecity Monthly Updates – February 2022
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.
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ECOSOC Partnership Forum 2022 – Putting Women at the Centre of Sustainable Development
Our Founder, ElsaMarie D’Silva participated in the ECOSOC Partnership Forum 2022, where the panel explored various initiatives being undertaken to engage women in social, economic and political discourse, and encouraged women’s leadership in different sectors.
Greater representation of women in policy and decision making is essential for sustainable development. This also entails building the capacity of women to participate and lead with confidence. Our panellists shared their experiences from India, Africa, Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago as well as European and global initiatives that are mobilising and organising women to reclaim their agency and make a difference.
Watch the panel discussion here.
Responsible Tourism Incubator for Rural Women at the 60th Session of the Commission for Social Development
The outcomes of the Responsible Tourism Incubator, which trained 25 rural women in tourism and hospitality life skills in Udupi, Karnataka, were highlighted at this panel discussion at the 60th Session of the Commission for Social Development.
The incubator was hosted by The Urban Vision, Red Dot Foundation Global, Triplaze, Udupi Tourism, and Mangalore City Corporation with support from Vital Voices Fortune Mentoring Program of United States Department of State. It was supported by various organisations including Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, MAHE Manipal, Sehreeti, FSL India, and Placemaking India.
By creating jobs and building capacity in rural, semi-urban areas, one can distribute economic resources. COVID-19 showed us the disparity in the economic and financial distribution of resources and the disproportionate volume of jobs in urban centres. We need this to change and in this regard, we equipped people in rural and semi-urban areas to be entrepreneurs and job-ready whilst providing them with immediate market linkages.
Our aim was to have:
- 50% representation of women
- To provide them with mentors
- To provide them livelihood opportunities
- To contribute towards eco-tourism
The active involvement of government bodies at the local level is also critical in such programs, which is why our panellists ranged from funders to development sector professionals to government officials.
Watch the panel discussion here.
Online Safety – Interventions to Safeguard Women and Children
Red Dot Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Embassy, India and the U.S. Consulate General, Hyderabad as well as Rotary Club Bhubaneswar Smile organised a panel discussion to deliberate on gender-based violence, inclusivity and safe space in the cyber world.
The discussion was on how social media platforms are affecting the present day scenario which has its perceptible advantages and disadvantages, how online learning during Covid-19 has enabled perpetrators to harm vulnerable groups, and how the harassment and abuse on social media platforms are often gendered in nature.
The panel also deliberated on how laws and resources can be made more accessible for women, children and vulnerable groups.
Watch the panel discussion here.
Flash Forward Fest – Safe Spaces in the Phygital World
As technology becomes more integrated into our lives, there is a blurring of the physical and digital worlds, creating many possibilities and opportunities. However, as we design and develop the “phygital” world, we must address safety and security concerns so that it can be inclusive for all. Our speakers shared practical experiences from their work in developing solutions for and with communities.
The discussion was on how gender norms and rules in the physical and digital world are different, how technology is biased towards women, as a result of which they do not get to experience equal opportunities as men in the digital world.
Watch the panel discussion here.
Chevening Mentoring Program
Red Dot Foundation along with the British High Commission and Chevening Alumni of India has launched a virtual mentoring program for youth in India.
The project aims to build on the visibility of Chevening alumni as role models and to spotlight their unique work in sustainable development. The program will help mentors pay it forward to the next generation and help youth build capacity, define their goals and dream bigger.
The call for entries received an excellent response and resulted in 25 youth – mostly from tier 2 & 3 cities – being selected to participate. The youth were then paired with 25 Chevening alumni mentors. Matches were carefully made, keeping in mind the goals and aspirations of the mentees as well as the interests and expertise of the mentors.
The mentees first attended a goal-setting session during which they were encouraged to self introspect in an effort to identify their short and long term goals and their ambitions.
An introductory session with the mentors and mentees set the tone of the program – the expectations of the mentors and understanding the backgrounds of the mentees.
The first mentoring session was conducted on 17th February, where each mentor-mentee pair met one on one and discussed the mentees’ ambitions and were given advice and suggestions by the mentors to help them get closer to their goals.
Each pair will go through two more one on one sessions before the final event on 16th March. Do register for the 16th March event to hear the outcomes.
Young Collective Voices for Safer Spaces
Young Collective Voices for Safer Spaces was a series of capacity building workshops facilitated jointly by Red Dot Foundation, the Australian High Commission in Mumbai and the Queensland University of Technology’s Design Lab and Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice.
The workshop series aimed to build critical thinking skills amongst students, aged 15-18 years, in Western India through hands-on creative sessions. The thematic focus of these workshops was ‘challenging harmful gender norms and creating safe public spaces’.
The workshop series had 4 institutions from Western India participating, with 5 students or more and 1 teacher from each institution.
|Kishinchand Chellaram College||Mumbai||Ms. Kavita Peter|
|St. Xavier’s College||Mumbai||Ms. Aditi Sawant|
|Victorious Kidss Educares||Pune||Ms. Moti Kumari Jha|
|St. Francis Xavier College||Goa||Ms. Melanie Vas|
The series began on 11th February with a co-creation session between the facilitators and teachers. The input from the teachers was helpful in setting the tone for the workshops.
The first workshop of the series was held on 18th February. It began with an address from the Australian Consul General in Mumbai – Mr. Peter Trusswell. It was an extremely interactive and fun session conducted in tandem by the Red Dot Foundation team and with the team from QUT – Jackie Kauli and Verena Thomas – which saw the students participate enthusiastically in every single activity. Learning was achieved through creative ways using riddles and case studies.
The creative output for the day was a very interesting Padlet where the students expressed their support to ‘Reema’ – a fictitious persona who had experienced harassment on her way to college.
The group co-created this beautiful poem at one of the sessions.
Young Girls Mentoring Program – a virtual Vital Voices Mentoring Walk
Red Dot Foundation’s Global Mentoring Program, now in its 6th successful year, paves an excellent opportunity to highlight the importance of women’s leadership and to accelerate the impact of women leaders through mentoring. This annual mentoring program brings together established and emerging women leaders to work together with their mentees and help them grow as leaders.
Over the course of this program mentors and mentees will discuss their professional challenges and successes and establish a mentoring relationship in which the seasoned leader guides, advises and supports her peer.
This year’s program will include 20 girls from 3 NGOs – Prerana, SNEHA and Save the Children. The girls attended a goal-setting workshop conducted in Hindi on 21st February. They then submitted goal sheets where they outlined their goals and aspirations. They will now be paired with 20 women leaders who will mentor and guide them through this period.
The sessions will kick off with an introductory session scheduled for 12th March with Tamarind Murrietta, Head of Foreign Commercial Service Office, The US Consulate General Mumbai giving the keynote address.
Safe Maharashtra Project
Under the Safe Maharashtra project, Red Dot Foundation has partnered with 7 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. And in February, we collaborated with another NGO – Kalapandhari Magasvargiya and Adivasi Gramin Vikas Sanstha (KMAGVS), Latur. Each of these organisations works with women and girls as well as youth in their communities.
We organised several sessions with our partner NGOs as well. We gave them proper guidelines and instructions to be followed in case of any mishappenings.
In the online session, the usage of the Safecity app was explained, how it can be useful for women and authorities who work for women’s security and safety. A live demo was conducted by one of the team members and queries from attendees were resolved regarding the application’s functioning.
Photograph of our online session with NGO – Kalapandhari Magasvargiya and Adivasi Gramin Vikas Sanstha (KMAGVS), volunteers and community people.
We are conducting open sessions now with partner NGOs, volunteers and communities to extend our reach. This time we tried to get in direct contact with stakeholders, and we have seen an upsurge in reporting through our app. It has proven as an effective measure to engage the community directly.
In our sessions, the RDF team discussed the POCSO Act and the conditions in which POCSO is enforced was explained to the volunteers of partner NGOs. We gave them an insight into how we will be using data collected through the Safecity app.
We organised a session on data literacy by an expert, explaining the importance of data collection and how it can help in setting futuristic goals. The session focused on how data literacy can help in telling our story, measuring the impact of organization in society and in making policies. It concluded with a detailed discussion on effective methods of data collection including systematic data collection, qualitative and quantitative data. A computer expert demonstrated how to create a database in Excel.
Queer Hifazat Fellowship
We are collaborating with ‘The QKnit’ for our new project “Queer Hifazat”. The project aims at creating safe spaces for the queer community and building a network of LGBTQI+ folks pan India.
Around 300 people enrolled for the fellowship and we shortlisted 160 folks from them. The purpose of this project is to build a community for queer folks, provide them with a safe space so they can share their stories and experiences with others and seek community support, share strategies and be heard without any judgement.
Here’s what the participants were feeling during the orientation session.
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 Swarnalatha J, Disability Rights Activist & Motivational Speaker shares her views and the importance of building an inclusive society here.
Winner of Youth Innovation Challenge 2021 – StandWeSpeak – Where Are They Now?
In a country like India with a population of 1.3 Billion, the topic of sexual health is still soaked in shame and stigma. Whom do people turn to seek answers for their “so-called awkward questions?” Parents? Friends? Teachers? It is the fear of judgement and shame that leads people to rely on the internet and use “incognito mode” as the last resort. But, the internet comes with its own demerits when it comes to providing medical-legal information.
To put an end to this centuries-old problem, StandWeSpeak, a Sextech social startup, is launching Mae – an anonymous, non-judgmental, and sex-positive sexual and reproductive health platform, for youth. A blend of artificial intelligence and expert professional help to ensure that young people receive tailor-made solutions based on their needs.
StandWeSpeak strives to create a world where equality, agency, and bodily autonomy for everyone exists; and we can only achieve this goal when we take charge of our own bodies, relationships and sexuality and make informed decisions about it.
To get started on this journey, check out Mae: https://standwespeak.com
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. Sessions are held every second and fourth Friday of the month from 3 pm – 5 pm IST. The session on the second Friday of the month is conducted in Hindi and fourth Friday of the month in English.
Intern Talks – Aniket
“My internship with Safecity has been great. I worked as a Communications Intern and have been paired with phenomenal mentors who have guided me through this educational internship. I believe everyone should do an internship because it’s a great opportunity to apply the knowledge you gained in school to a professional work setting. This opportunity has given me a chance to see if what I am studying is really what I want to do with my degree, as it has exposed me to what I might expect in one of the fields my degree could lead me to.”
– Aniket Mandloi
Prestige Institute of Engineering, Management & Research
Key points to understand through data – February
Click here to see the Safecity Data Dashboards.
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.
Report an incident on Safecity Platform
Download Safecity App on iOS Devices
Download Safecity App on Android Devices
- Mar 16 – 5.30pm – Chevening Alumni Mentoring Programme. Register for the discussion on the benefits of mentoring here.
- Mar 17 – 5.30pm – Act for Gender and Climate Justice – A Virtual Parallel Event at the NGO CSW66 Forum. Register here.
- Tweetchats every Friday at 9 pm IST on Twitter at @TheSafecityApp.
- Chevening Mentoring Program
- Queer Hifazat Project
- Cyber Safety supported by the U.S. Embassy, India and U.S. Consulate General, Hyderabad
- Safety Champion Campaign
- Safe Campus Project, Phaltan, Satara
- Community Champion Campaign
- Safe Maharashtra in Mumbai, Pune and Satara