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.
Since June is celebrated as Pride Month, Red Dot Foundation ran various social media campaigns to spread awareness regarding the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, amplify queer voices and connect people. Throughout the month, we organised tweetchats on topics such as Queering Medicine, Understanding Asexuality, and the intersections of queerness, mental health and neurodivergence.
We concluded with a Twitter Storm on 29th June 2022, wherein we had folx from the community sharing their inputs and views on queering the world and how can we make our world queer-affirmative. We also had the Consulate General of U.S. in Mumbai, the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai and Twitter Singapore participate in this campaign.
Bioscope Stories vs Bollywood
The content we consume has a big influence on our ideologies. The movies we watch and the songs we listen to all help to reinforce the ideas depicted in the movies about love and romance in a wide range of ways.
When we imbibe the toxic romantic beliefs depicted in Bollywood, we create a problem that impacts the safety of women resulting in heinous crimes.
In an attempt to challenge this, Red Dot Foundation partnered with Ogilvy Singapore and created a campaign – Bioscope Stories Vs Bollywood. Do watch it here.
The film was shortlisted for the Cannes Glass Lion For Change under Industry Craft Lions’ Outdoor category. The Industry Craft Lion celebrates the creative artistry, talent and skill required to deliver a beautifully executed solution and bring a creative idea to life and although we did not win this, RDF is thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award!
We would also like to thank Campaign Asia for the shoutout!
TrustLaw Awards 2022
Every year, at the TrustLaw Awards ceremony, the remarkable pro bono projects undertaken by their legal members with NGOs and social enterprises around the world are recognised. This year’s nominated projects focused on how their members are advancing human rights, fostering inclusive economies, and promoting media freedom across the globe.
RDF was a finalist at the TrustLaw Awards in the Impact Award category for the project on Combatting sexual harassment at the Workplace with Latham & Watkins.
Though we did not win it, we are thankful for the opportunity and recognition. Through TrustLaw, RDF received legal assistance from Latham & Watkins to draft a comparative research report on gender neutral laws to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace.
World Urban Forum Eleventh Session
The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a global conference on sustainable urbanization that aims to examine pressing issues in our world such as rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. The WUF11 was co-organised by UN-Habitat, Poland’s Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy and the Municipal Office of Katowice.
RDF was thrilled to be part of the WUF11 where focussing on innovation, gender and youth, we talked about digital and innovative tools or public space assessments to inform gender sensitive planning as well as empowering women and girls for sustainable urban futures.
Safety Champion Campaign
The Safety Champion Campaign has been revived in June. Volunteers from across India have enrolled in the 2-week internship, where they reach out to their communities, speak to them about sexual harassment & gender-based violence and submit reports on the Safecity platform.
Here is what some of the volunteers had to say:
“My tenure as a Safety Champion was 2 weeks. I prepared 26 reports detailing about sexual violence faced by individuals in public places using the Safecity app. The app collects data about the incident, location and time in a concise manner. Since the reports are anonymous, it gives confidence for victims to open up without fearing repercussions. As a volunteer the campaign gave me the opportunity to communicate with victims and explore the psychological trauma caused by these incidents. I’m proud to be a part of this initiative which unites hearts to fight against a social anomaly.” – Athira AJ
“As someone residing in the city which has been labelled as one of the most unsafe cities for women not only in the country but also in the world, I have witnessed various restrictions put upon girls from a very young age about when can they leave or return, what they should be wearing and what path should they take. The strict surveillance which led to annoyance, soon starts making sense once you grow up and are mature enough to know what’s going on around you. This pent-up frustration about not being able to live freely actually was a result of the fear of things going wrong. My reason for joining this campaign was therefore very personal. This campaign truly served as an enriching experience for me and as I bid farewell to my time with this campaign, I retain the very spirit which it is built upon and it will continue to inspire my passion for social causes for a very long time.” – Pragya Verma
Stand Up Against Street Harassment
RDF has partnered with L’Oreal Paris India and Right To Be in their mission to raise awareness about street harassment in public places and sensitize and train communities on intervention in a situation of street harassment in public places.
This dynamic 1-hour workshop was designed to prepare bystanders to stand up against street harassment.
It was a fun, interactive experience guaranteed to keep one engaged. Participants learned simple techniques of intervention through participation and practice while ensuring their own safety and that of the person experiencing the harassment.
These workshops have been rolled out all over Maharashtra to students, faculty of institutions and healthcare workers and have already been attended by close to 800 persons.
Vital Voices Mentoring Program
The Vital Voices Mentoring Program began with a virtual introductory session which was held on 12th March.
The Global Mentoring Program is an opportunity to highlight the importance of women’s leadership, and to accelerate the impact of women leaders through mentoring. Organized by outstanding local leaders who are key members of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network, the annual Mentoring Program brings together established women leaders and emerging women leaders to work together in their community and grow as leaders.
After the introductory session, the mentors and mentees were put in touch with each other. Subsequently, 10 mentor-mentee pairs embarked on a mentoring journey for three months from April to June.
The mentees are young girls from the NGOs – Prerana, SNEHA and Save the Children. Most of them are students and have varied aspirations like learning to communicate in English, completing their education, or opening a small business like a beauty salon.
The mentors were selected from a range of corporate and civil society organizations.
Each mentee was aptly matched with a mentor who would be in a position to guide the young woman towards achieving her specific goal. This was done after taking into consideration common interests and backgrounds between the mentors and mentees.
Over the 3-month period, the pairs have been connecting virtually for their mentoring sessions, using phone calls, Zoom, Google Meet or even WhatsApp calls for their interactions. Some pairs even found creative ways of connecting like sending each other voice messages and videos.
Safe Maharashtra Project
“Safe Maharashtra” is a project that has been implemented in the state of Maharashtra, where we have tied up with different NGOs across the state. The purpose of the project was to build the capacity of the NGOs, regarding gender, laws, and data literacy, whilst simultaneously working on taking some community-based actions to solve the safety issues. We have been working for the past year with our 5 partner NGOs in Satara, Mumbai, Pune and Latur. For the members of the organisations and the community, we conducted workshops in Hindi, Marathi & English keeping in mind the different cultural backgrounds of the partner communities, on different topics like capacity-building on data collection via the Safecity platform, gender sensitivity, legal training, digital literacy and data dashboards.
This month we worked with the Kalapandhari organisation in Latur, on a ‘Digital Literacy Workshop’. Women from 20 villages attended the workshop, where we introduced basic computer knowledge like using Word, Excel and PowerPoint. They were taught how to open an account, communicate, make reports, etc., which would enable them to conduct sessions with the people from their own communities.
We organized a program with our partner organisation Swayam in Satara. Under the ICDS Department, we conducted a workshop for Anganwadi workers where 45 women participated. It was a workshop on basic data literacy like writing an email, using social media like YouTube and Facebook, using spreadsheets, Excel and Word, and how to create videos.
After crowdsourcing data on various types of violence through the Safecity platform, the partner organisations set out to check what the data reflected. The data from our dashboards gave them an overview of the incidents reported which allowed them to deliberate on actions that the community people could take towards resolving the safety issues of their area. Every partner organisation designed a “Community Campaign” and involved their community people in bringing about a change.
One of our partner organisations, SNEHA, performed street plays in Indra Nagar and Janta Nagar to raise awareness about eve-teasing and stalking among community members. Through their performance, they addressed these issues and encouraged women and adolescent girls to take a stand against these forms of sexual harassment. They were also provided information on gender and safety.
The police department is one of the key stakeholders which has the authority to bring change to the community. A team from the Dhanwantari organisation decided to visit the police stations in their areas and present the data collected by them via the Safecity reporting platform so that they can use the information to take steps for the community’s safety.
We visited the Satara police station with another partner organisation, Swayam, where we met PSI Mr. Nimbalkar and presented him with the dashboard and spoke about the Safecity platform. The discussion was regarding the areas that were identified to be unsafe.
Mrs. Shital Vidhate (Representative of Red Dot Foundation) & Mr. Sachin Kamble (Representative of Swayam) presented PSI Mr. Nimbalkar with the dashboard.
Kalapandhari organisation held a community campaign, where they met the local authorities like the police, school teachers, gram panchayat sarpanch, other village authorities and the taluka level authorities, and informed them about how to use the Safecity platform. The authorities were also presented with the Safecity dashboard and were told about what could be done to ensure safety in the community.
RDF’s Founder, ElsaMarie DSilva, is part of the Brave Movement. Childhood sexual violence is a global scourge, which at least one in five girls and one in ten boys experience. It has devastating long-term consequences for children, families, and societies. And the COVID pandemic has exposed children to even greater risk. Ending this scourge is essential for all humanity and it demands a coordinated international response. #BeBrave and sign the petition here.
15 survivors of childhood sexual violence from the Brave Movement from G7 countries and beyond urged the leaders of the world to take bold and transformative action when they met in June for the G7 leaders’ communiqué to end childhood sexual violence.
Wibke Müller, survivor, co-founder of the Brave Movement and co-chair of its G7 survivors’ taskforce responded to G7 communiqué. Check out the press release here.
SafeCircle is a safe listening circle for survivors of violence and trauma to find support facilitated by our CEO Supreet K Singh. 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 fourth Friday of the month from 3 pm – 5 pm IST.
Star of Red Dot Foundation
Shital Vidhate has gone beyond her call of duty to engage with stakeholders to have a far greater outreach. She has built a strong rapport with 5 partnering NGOs to drive our projects. Shital’s dedication to the cause has inspired the RDF team and so we would like to applaud her for her brilliant work.
Intern Talks – Muskan Shukla
“I enjoyed working with Red Dot Foundation and my work experience was very good as well. We utilised the Safecity and Inhabit Place apps while working on the project in Delhi NCR. I got to learn a lot while working as a team leader. In today’s busy world, we often ignore the problems around us and consider those problems small. Whilst working with RDF, we addressed these issues around safety in public spaces which are otherwise ignored. I’m thankful to the RDF team as well as my peers with whom I worked on this project for their guidance and support.”
Key points to understand through data – June
Click here to see the Safecity Data Dashboards.
Safecity Reporting Platform
Safecity is a platform as a service product that empowers 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.
Upcoming Projects and Events
- 7 July – 05.00 pm to 6.30 pm IST / 07.30 am to 09.00 am EDT – Economic Empowerment of Rural Women in India at The High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. Register here.
- 7 July – 10.30 pm to 12.00 am IST / 1.00 pm to 2.30 pm EST – Water Diplomacy 4.0: Process Matters with Fulbright Germany – ElsaMarie DSilva will be speaking at the Transatlantic Climate Bridge Annual Conference 2022.
- Tweetchats every Friday at 9 pm IST on Twitter at @TheSafecityApp.
- Queer Hifazat Project
- Queer for Others Campaign – Being implemented by RDF in partnership with Swechha, supported by the U.S. Embassy India
- Community Health Workers Trainings with HDFC Bank – Parivartan
- Community Health Workers Trainings with City of Stuttgart
- Mentoring on Personal Leadership with Young Girls and Women with Adventures of the Mind
- Stand Up Against Street Harassment with L’Oreal Paris India and Right To Be