Safecity Monthly Updates – July 2021
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 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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Peer Mentoring Bootcamp for Rural Digital Entrepreneurs
Mentoring and access to support networks are critical to the success of any entrepreneur. Building on our previous mentoring events, Red Dot Foundation was pleased to partner with the Swedish Alumni Network India (Mumbai chapter) and supported by the Swedish Institute to host a peer mentoring bootcamp for ten rural digital entrepreneurs from Maharashtra.
The ten women are first-time entrepreneurs and have never worked prior to attending a digital literacy and financial program a few years ago. Subsequent to the training they set up “seva kendras” in their villages. These came in handy during the lockdown as they were able to help their community pay bills online, transfer money and access other services. However, these women have aspirations to grow their businesses and need further guidance, skill and capacity building. So we organised a public event where the entrepreneurs shared their inspirational journeys, following which members of SANI and other networks shared their expert advice with the entrepreneurs.
Supreet K Singh conducted 3 storytelling workshops with the entrepreneurs and moderated the discussion during the Bootcamp. The breakout rooms with the entrepreneurs were facilitated by Radha Sule, Rufina Fernandes, Gauri Kacherikar, Latha Sankarnarayan and Sanjaykumar Shivdas. Beroz Gazdar gave the introductory address on behalf of the SANI Mumbai Board. We are grateful to all who attended.
The next part of this program will include one on one mentoring with the entrepreneurs and master classes offered by the community. We are invested in the success of these entrepreneurs and we hope you will join us in October where they will share their experiences in this journey.
Hear the inspirational journeys of the entrepreneurs.
Youth Innovation Challenge on Gender and Climate Justice
The Youth Innovation Challenge (YIC) is a flagship event of Red Dot Foundation held on the sidelines of the Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) by UN Habitat’s World Urban Campaign. The theme for this year’s UTC and YIC is Gender and Climate Justice and the challenge seeks to engage youth in taking an active role in being agents of change.
The challenge is supported by the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai and partners include The Joint Commissioner, Directorate of Municipal Administration, Government of Maharashtra, UN-Habitat, UNICEF, Global Utmaning (a Swedish NGO), YuWaah and Maharashtra WASH coalition.
Youth from Maharashtra and Goa were invited to submit ideas on the theme by 30 July 2021. We received around 90 entries of which 10 best ideas were selected by a jury panel of government, private sector and development sector experts. The social incubator will commence on 12 August with masterclasses and one on one mentoring with industry experts to develop these ideas into working prototypes. The ten teams will pitch these prototypes in a virtual public event on 22 October 2021.
To know more about the YIC, do watch the panel discussion we hosted on the topic with youth leaders Arpita Bhagat, Aarushee Shukla and Suraj Mishra. Also, watch the AMA on YIC that Jyoti Goyal and ElsaMarie DSilva hosted for youth to help them submit their ideas.
Red Dot Foundation is a legacy partner of the University of Southampton’s Social Impact Lab. Every year students pick up a challenge posed by us and make recommendations. This year we had a team of 7 students from the University of Ahmedabad and the University of Southampton – Laura Smith, Luke Brooks, Pin Hong Wong, Esther Olumbunmi, Dishita Madani, Meet Shah and Miracle Rindani.
The valuable suggestions they gave us were on improvements to our Safecity reporting platform, social media strategy and youth outreach campaigns.
This is what they said when asked why they opted to work with us:
Miracle – I was really inspired by their idea of providing a platform for people to share their difficult experiences anonymously and make an impact in the society.
Dishita – In the Safecity project, we were supposed to perform data analytics and visualization. This is one of the areas I am always keen to learn. Also, in this project, I felt connected because I have been hearing about such things in my daily life. I wanted to be a part of this marvellous project and wanted to do a bit for all the victims and help them as well as others through my contribution. I hope that I can achieve my goals.
Meet – Safecity is providing a platform which helps victims of sexual harassment report their cases anonymously and also helps other to be aware about such incidences happening in their locality. It’s a great initiative and working with such a venture is always a pleasure.
Luke – I wanted to work for Safecity because they have created an innovative digital solution that has broken down one of the main barriers to reporting sexual violence and crime, giving up your anonymity. Safecity is already using this data to create real impact. I wanted to work with Safecity because I have studied a wide range of applicable modules which I felt could add value to their existing work.
Pin Hong – Safecity inspired me that with the act of unity, we can make a significant impact on one another. It makes our community feel truly safe by creating a universal value, and shows us that all of us can be the guardian of all people.
Esther – Even before being accepted by Spark India, I knew Safecity was an organisation I wanted to work with. With the little I knew from my own personal research they were an organisation creating change and providing voices to the voiceless. Sexual violence is an issue that I have faced and have also witnessed happen to my loved ones. Working with Safecity meant that I would not be another statistic that accepts this is how the world would always be. I would be part of the global movement that created awareness on an issue readily ignored, by providing statistical evidence as to why change must be made.
Laura – I have admired the work of Safecity ever since watching the Social Impact Lab’s Portal episode featuring the founder, Elsa D’Silva. Their ingenious use of data to enact real-world change and positively impact the lives of women across the globe truly inspired me, and I felt called to use my skills to further their mission. I am confident that our team can develop some innovative solutions to data trends, and I am excited to share our insights!
We learned a lot from our SPARK India team and we are grateful to continue to work with them beyond the program tenure.
Red Dot Global Foundation at the High-Level Political Forum 2021
This year the High-Level Political Forum at the UN was held virtually, with over three hundred events held over the course of ten days.
Our UN representative Gillian-D’Souza Nazareth, also vice-chairperson of the NGO Committee on Social Development moderated an event titled ‘Breaking the Cycle of Poverty and Hunger: Our Asks’, on 7th July. The online webinar featured three grassroots speakers from different continents who shared their unique experiences of poverty and hunger during or prior to Covid-19 and the solutions they have created or propose to overcome these difficulties.
Community Champion Campaign
The Community Champion Campaign is an initiative to engage youth in making public spaces safer by designing action-oriented programs for the community to address safety issues. Looking at the enthusiastic response of our previous online campaign, we have designed this campaign to take a step further in making the community safer.
Aims of the campaign –
- To engage youth in making the community safe
- To figure out location-based trends or issues in the safety of the community
- To use the data of the Safecity app in the community
- To find community-driven solutions to safety issues of the community
We have 6 active champions who are from various places in India. Using the data collected by Safecity they are spreading awareness and finding out new ways to address safety issues in their respective communities.
Safe Campus Program 2021-22 – July 2021
Safe Campus is an advocacy campaign to ensure that all Educational Institutions create safe campuses by implementing the POCSO (The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act in Phaltan Taluka in the Satara district of Maharashtra, India. We are immensely grateful to Rise Up for Girls and Cummins India for supporting this project.
In July, we conducted 5 sessions with Young Girl Leaders which were nominated by colleges and NGOs. A total of 54 girls participated in these sessions. The sessions included various topics around safety like domestic violence, mental health, safe/unsafe touch, safety and safe campus, menstrual hygiene etc.
Then some of the young girls leaders spread this information into their community and took sessions with kids of the community.
Due to bad weather conditions and the pandemic, the team struggled to get the permission letter from the Education Officer to work with government schools and colleges. A number of online and offline meetings were held with the Education Officer.
Feedback shared by one of the Young Girl Leaders –
As per feedback from the participants, 96% shared that their knowledge and mindset changed after the sessions.
Here’s what one of our Young Girl Leader has to say
Safety Champion Campaign II – July 2021
The Safecity Safety Champion Campaign is a project meant to give young leaders the resources and confidence to lead their communities in difficult but important discussions regarding sexual violence and public spaces, using the Safecity app. This campaign aims to engage the youth and teach them how to create inclusive, empathetic spaces for people who have experienced distressing or unsafe behavior in public. Once they have been given the tools they need, these Safety Champions reach out to their friends, families, and communities, and help them share their stories and their experiences on the Safecity app, where that data can be used to make the public spaces safer.
During this campaign, Safecity Safety Champions were tasked with attempting to open up dialogues with their friends, families, and communities about their experiences with sexual violence, crimes etc., they have suffered in public. The Safecity Safety Champions did this by remotely contacting these people and asking them, with their consent, to use the Safecity app to anonymously tell their story, either by allowing the Safecity Safety Champion to record an experience of theirs or by having the person reporting the incident to report it on their own.
Over the course of the campaign, more than 3,500 participants applied to become Safecity Safety Champions, and of them over 400 have been accepted and actively taken part in the campaign. Already, by the week of July 19th, 200 interns have met or exceeded their goal of contacting 20 participants and helping them write a report on Safecity, with many more well on their way to meeting their goal as well.
Here’s what some participants had to say about their experience with the project:
“I got to know how to initiate uncomfortable but important conversations with the women around me. I also learnt how frequent such cases are and how every single woman I know goes through such things on a regular basis and this is really something to think about.”
“[I realized] that many woman remain silent when they face sexual harassment or abuse. It is really important to make women aware of the laws that exist to protect them so next time they raise a voice against such incidents. I became aware about my rights as a woman through the Safecity app.”
“My most important takeaway from this campaign was how many women were impacted by irrational behavior that arises from men. One of the most common patterns that I have observed is women getting blamed rather than holding the perpetrators accountable. If I could come with about 30 cases in a circle as small as mine, it is hard to imagine what it must be like for so many women out there. It is imperative to acknowledge what our reality is and spread active awareness about these situations instead of shaming victims time and time again.”
Campus Ambassador Program
The Campus Ambassador Program is a safe campus initiative by Safecity. It seeks to engage college-age students and empower them to become leaders, advocates, and agents for change. Participants learn about leadership and communication skills while also providing valuable service in their communities.
We have 45 youth from around the country working with us to promote public safety amongst their friends, family, and peers. As a result, more than 300 people attended our recent events. We continue to support and guide them through the program.
If you would like to be a Campus Ambassador, please apply here.
SafeCircle is a safe listening circle for survivors of violence and abuse 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.
If you would like to attend a SafeCircle please visit here.
Recently from 19th April to 10th May 2021, we hosted the SafeCircle Facilitator’s Training Program in partnership with the German Federal Foreign Office’s Global Diplomacy Lab. We had 15 participants attend the training program and we are thrilled to certify 13 facilitators who will conduct SafeCircles in their communities in English and Hindi.
Jyoti Goyal shares her experience, “We discussed self-care tips and talked about our own methods of self-care which made me realize that even the smallest thing that makes us feel happy can become a part of our self-care. I have organized two sessions of SafeCircle Program so far as a facilitator and I really enjoyed both the sessions as I got an opportunity to learn and understand a lot of new things while interacting and connecting with new people. Platforms like SafeCircle are a great medium for people who have fought the battle of violence and emerged from it to express and share their views about incidents that they might not have shared with anyone else. This platform has provided these people with an opportunity to take time out for themselves, to take care of themselves, to feel like themselves, to connect with people who share the same experiences and support each other. The intent of the initiative of the SafeCircle Program is to help these people to move towards a violence-free and stress-free life.”
Anima Tiwari shares her experience, “I wish to thank you profoundly for conducting the training on SafeCircle Facilitators Course. Needless to say, it has been very well conducted by Supreet. SafeCircle is a very closed circle where we can share everything without any hesitation and no one is going to judge you and not going to share your story anywhere. The start of the session with Supreet’s deep breathing and meditation exercises made it one of the best learning experiences I had. I am satisfied with the training and training faculty. It was a well-designed course with practical orientation.”
The ‘beliEVE’ podcast is a pun and portmanteau of ‘believe’ and ‘eve’ that tells inspiring stories of women. It is driven to uphold their spirit, grit, valour, struggles, belief, and efforts in breaking the glass ceiling. The podcast is hosted with Ms Elsa Marie DSilva and it is produced, hosted and distributed by aawaz.com, the largest spoken-word audio and podcast network in Indian languages. Through its various conversations, host Elsa brings out the hidden stories in the lives of extraordinary women. The series brings together a diverse roster of women from varied fields, including entrepreneurs, educators, artists, athletes, changemakers, activists, therapists, armed forces, among others.
The podcast with 14 unique stories (episodes), exclusive on aawaz, is in the Top 3 audio shows in aawaz English programming. It has generated 1mn+ impressions organically across endpoints like social media, aawaz app and website. In an attention-deficit digital world where skipping in 5 seconds is the norm, our users have consumed 330,000+ minutes of the beliEVE podcast, that’s approximately 5,500+ hours. Additionally, the show has garnered 25,000+ streams. (A stream is counted when a user has listened to at least 60 seconds of an episode). This reflects on the power that great storytelling has in positively impacting the lives of people. Relaying the success of ‘beliEVE’ and the demand for stories of inspirational women who challenge the status quo, the audio show is now in its second season.
Intern Talks – Akshay
I have been working as an Event Coordinator with Red Dot Foundation for the past 4 months and it has been a great journey. I did not realise my 4 months of internship had passed so quickly and had come to a closure. I feel fortunate to be a part of a foundation that works dedicatedly for the upliftment of women/girls who are victims of sexual harassment due to a patriarchal culture.
I sincerely wish Red Dot Foundation to spread its wings to all parts of India and serve all those needy in our country. I appeal to others to make some difference in society by supporting groups like Red Dot Foundation. Red Dot Foundation will always be special to me and am proud to be part of such a foundation.
3rd year CSE Student
SHRI. RAMDEOBABA COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT, NAGPUR
Key points to understand through data
Click here to see the Safecity Data Graphics for the month of July.
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
Report an incident on Safecity Platform
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Download Safecity App on Android Devices
- 24 Aug – Panel discussion on Chevening Scholarships. Register here.
- 12 Aug – Launch of the YIC Social Incubator on Gender and Climate Justice.
- 25 Aug – Panel discussion on Importance of Cyber Safety Education in the school curriculum. Register here.
- 2 Sep – Art for Healing Program. Apply here.
- Tweetchats every Friday at 9 pm IST on Twitter at @TheSafecityApp.