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.
Data Visualisation for Women’s Safety
Red Dot Foundation in partnership with the Consulate General of Ireland in Mumbai is hosting a Data Challenge for Women’s Safety with university students from India and Ireland. University College of Dublin and Education in Ireland are Knowledge and Outreach partners.
The Challenge commenced on 1st February 2022, in which 71 students from India and Ireland are participating.
On 28th January 2022, a panel on ‘Data Visualisation for Women’s Safety’ was held to orient students and other participants on the need for accurate and disaggregated data, and the importance of compelling visualisations which can be used as an advocacy tool to engage communities and institutions for local change.
Ms. Alison Reilly, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of Ireland, Mumbai sent a note and expressed her excitement for their collaboration with RDF. She also mentioned in her note the importance of data visualisation and how it can pinpoint issues and reveal practical solutions to address women’s safety and gender-based violence in our communities.
Our esteemed panel:
- Prof. Eleni Mangina – VP (International) College of Science, Professor of Computer Science, UCD College of Science
- Harish Iyer – Equal Rights Activist and Head DE&I, Axis Bank
- Rohini Kadam – Facilitator, CORO India and Team Lead, Right to Pee
- Mitchelle Dsouza – Information, Communication & Technology (ICT) and Consultant, EHSAS, SNEHA
- Dr. Despoina Afroditi Milaki – NGO Representative at the United Nations, International Presentation Association
You can watch the introductory session here.
Community Intervention Challenge
The Community Intervention Challenge held in December 2021 – January 2022 was an opportunity for law and criminology students to identify the issues of safety and sexual violence in their own locality. RDF in partnership with Agami conducted this 4-week long challenge on community intervention with students.
Our goal was to involve communities in different ways to create solutions for ending sexual and gender-based violence using crowdsourced data, community engagement and institutional accountability.
The participants had an opportunity to learn through the 4 Masterclasses – Storytelling conducted by Mrs. Marissa Borges, Criminology conducted by Prof. Andrea Adams, Solution Building conducted by Ms. Keerthana and the Art of Pitching conducted by Mr. Sachin Malhan. With these new learning techniques, participants could then apply the elements of the classes in practice through the target locations they identified.
The students were tasked to prepare a report identifying issues of gender-based violence in their target locations. Furthermore, based on data-led insights and patterns, they were to propose innovative solutions to curb gender-based violence in these areas. After their submissions, 8 finalists were picked to present their pitch to the jury.
The Jury consisted of:
- Jitesh Brahmkshatriya, Director, Cities – Buro Happold
- Priya Hingorani, Senior Advocate at the Hon’ Supreme Court of India
- Sachin Malhan, Co-Founder of Agami
- Dr. Andrea Adams, Professor at University of District Columbia, Ethicist and Advocate
- Prathima Manohar, Founder & CEO, The Urban Vision
On the 18th of January, the final event of the Community Intervention Challenge took place with 8 finalists. Some of the ideas that floated around in the discussion with the finalists were mental aid resources for survivors of gender-based violence, a network of police stations that can keep track of emergency cases, sex education for school and college students, mass reporting, review system for police stations, etc. Post jury deliberations the following winners were announced:
1. First Prize: The Himmat Project by Megha and Sreeja
Recommended easy infrastructural changes like setting up fluorescent lights and putting up posters of local police helpline numbers for public safe spaces around college campuses.
2. Second Prize: The ParirakSaka Project by Amrita Jolly
Suggested appointing a group of people called ParirakSaka (protectors) to help people who face any kind of crime.
3. Third Prize (jointly to)
The Geri Project by Astha Kumari
Highlighted the culture of Geri (drive around on a particular stretch, commonly seen among young people) in Punjab and how the youth can come forward to create safer spaces in their communities. She also foregrounded factors that could enable robust reporting of non-verbal sexual harassment on the streets.
The Intervention Project by Sachinendra
Proposed involving the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and the National Service Scheme (NSS) for public safety of women, reviewing the active involvement of police stations, rating institutes on safety for women.
You can watch the final event here.
Responsible Tourism Incubator – PlaceXplore Lab
The program is being 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. This program is supported by various organizations including Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, MAHE Manipal; Sehreeti; FSL India, and Placemaking India.
The aim of this initiative is to support, mentor and put a spotlight on local community-based tourism entrepreneurs. The cohort of entrepreneurs will receive mentorship and entrepreneurial training as well as a market access platform. Finally, they will also have a platform to showcase and market the initiatives on local government’s tourism sites as well as a dedicated online platform to showcase one’s work. We will also provide free digital tools to support the initiative.
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 Kanta Singh, Deputy Country Representative, UN Women shares her views on sustainable developmental goals here.
Safety Champion Campaign
The campaign picked up momentum in January as we conducted a joint campaign with Internshala on the occasion of Republic Day.
We conducted 3 orientations which resulted in 145 volunteers joining the campaign. They collectively crowdsourced for the Safecity platform more than 1500 first-person reports of incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
Here’s what some of the volunteers have to say:
“As a Safecity Safety Champion, I got an opportunity to communicate with people and hear about their story of sexual harassment. I was able to connect with people on a much deeper level than ever before. I resonated with the experiences of so many people who suffered from similar kinds of trauma.
Making India safer for both men and women is an absolute necessity. I believe that the whole idea of shifting the focus from the victim to the location by crowdsourcing data is commendable and should be incorporated in the national law and governance framework. The commitment of Red Dot Foundation towards finding localised solutions to the problem is praiseworthy.
By contributing a little from my end as a Safecity volunteer towards creating more awareness in society, I can proudly say that I am a responsible Indian citizen.” – Sana Zehra
“We have to come forward to share our stories. We must understand our impact, the impact these stories will have. A lot of sexual abuse never gets reported. And I am so glad that I came to know about the Safecity app. I searched for my city and was taken aback to see the number of sexual assaults that have taken place in areas I frequent often. I also like how it was all anonymous, there is no guilt, no shame as it shouldn’t be in the first place.
I am really grateful to be a part of such an initiative. A real eye-opener for me.” – Riya Sachdeva
Poster by Tavo Uplanchi
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 go through living in society. The project is being implemented in 200 schools in the Phaltan taluka of the Satara district in Maharashtra.
Till January 27th, 2022, several sessions were organised with 208 schools and more than 10,000 attendees including students (9414), teachers (682) and parents (818) attended these.
In January 2022 itself, 2293 students and teachers attended the sessions. The sessions mainly focused on how to make public and private spaces safer. The team also educated the students about various precautions that they should take while using social media, and teachers were provided with information on cybercrimes and abuse and how to report these incidents.
Child Safety Committee
We are helping schools of Satara to create a Child Safety Committee, for the ease of students. That committee will work in empowering children and creating safe spaces for their well-being. We have forwarded Child Safety Guidelines to 208 Schools and till date, 75 schools have successfully implemented our child safety guidelines and created a Child Safety Committee in their schools.
Sessions for Students in Primary Schools
As it was difficult to reach out to students from primary classes via online sessions, we chose to impart the same information through traditional sources – their respective teachers. We discussed child sexual abuse and cyber crimes with teachers and directed them towards proper reporting processes and procedures that are to be followed in case such issues arise.
Young Girl Leaders
The appointment of Young Girl Leaders was really impactful, especially in this ongoing pandemic. The YGLs took several sessions as per their accessibility and they have helped create safe spaces in their neighbourhoods. There was a self-defence session as well which was organised with the aim of providing students with proper skills to defend themselves in crisis. It was attended by 44 YGLs who will share these skills ahead in their own communities.
A self-defence session was conducted online for the Young Girl Leaders.
Impact Story – Sakshi
“This program gives me a lot of information and I have learned a lot about the various challenges faced by girls. I was involved in so many activities through these sessions, which have positively impacted my life. I feel excited that I can teach these things to other people in my neighbourhood.
I also took sessions with others and they wanted to be part of the program too. I feel so good that I could be a Young Girl Leader and empower the girls in my community who live in remote areas.
The Safe Campus Program has changed me a lot. My perception towards myself as a girl, towards society, has changed. Now if someone troubles me without any reason I can stand up to them confidently and I don’t feel shy to speak up for myself.
This program has helped me realize that ‘being a girl’ should never be the reason to stop myself from doing anything. I have my own life and I have my rights. I can do a lot of things that girls are stopped from doing. I feel confident and strong enough to make my own decisions in life.”
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.
We organized 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 Safecity app was explained to them and 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 regarding the functioning of the app were resolved too.
In another session, our team discussed the POCSO Act and the conditions in which POCSO is enforced was explained to the volunteers of partner NGOs. We also organised a session on ‘Our Rights and Gender’, in which we discussed how stereotypical mindset is still hogging our growth and how we can fight against it legally.
Till the 27th of January, we have trained 420 NGO volunteers and with the cooperation of partner NGOs, we have trained 1068 community people.
The RDF team conducted several polls during the sessions. According to these, 45% of the attendees said they did not know what the POCSO Act was all about before the session was conducted and 8% did not know that taking a photograph of a girl is a criminal offence until the team educated them on privacy and safety concerns. 44% had no information on how to file a cybercrime complaint and 28% did not know that sex assigned at birth and gender are two different things. Our well-coordinated sessions gave them a better perspective of the world and we shared various resources and methodologies with them to equip them with knowledge so they can take a stand against abuse and misconduct.
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 – Nidhi
“Hi, this is Nidhi! I have been associated with Red Dot Foundation – Safecity for the past three months and had such an insightful experience here working with the Communications team. Had an amazing mentor, who helped a lot in acknowledging my forte. The RDF team is doing a great job creating safe spaces for vulnerable groups and I am grateful that I could contribute to the betterment of society through the organisation.”
Key points to understand through data – January
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.
- 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.
- 8 Feb – 7 pm IST – Responsible Tourism Incubator for Rural Women, panel at the 60th Session of the Commission for Social Development. Register here.
- 22 Feb – 6 pm IST – Safe Spaces in the Phygital World. 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.
- Data Challenge for Women’s Safety
- 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