Safecity Monthly Updates – March 2021

Safecity aims at making our cities safer for every citizen. It is rigorously working towards the fulfillment of this cause by empowerment through data. By reporting and sharing your story, one can help and aware others through this platform. The data collected at the Safecity reporting platform also ensures help for our local governing and authoritative bodies in regulating violent crimes in our cities in both public and private spaces.


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The Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk

 

We were pleased to cohost the 6th edition (virtual) of the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk on 6 March 2021 along with Prerana Anti Human Trafficking Centre. We had 25 pairs of mentors and mentees. Most of the mentees were from the cohorts of Prerana Anti Human Trafficking Centre and SNEHA. The mentors were senior women from the public, private and development sectors. The event was supported by the US Consulate General of Mumbai and the goody bags were sponsored by Unilever through the kind offices’ of Ms. April Adams-Redmond, Global Brand Vice President.

Ms. Rona Rathod, Chief, Political and Economic Affairs, US Consulate General of Mumbai gave the keynote address and Ms. Manira Alva, Vice President, Political and Civic Engagement at Vital Voices Global Partnership gave an introductory address.

Some of the feedback from Mentors and Mentee are:

“Thank you for a wonderful event last weekend. I am really looking forward to working with my mentee regularly” – Julie Ramirez

“Loved the session and the energy was awesome. The Mentees were so enthusiastic and positive which was the best” – Chaitaly Mehta

“An incredible effort that will pay off for everyone in the years to come. Thank you for reminding me of our common humanity” – a Mentor

Some immediate wins:

Several girls who were interested in spoken English received sponsorship for English classes.

3 full scholarships for Masters programs were received.

A girl who is appearing for her 12th Board exams was given support in the form of fully paid tuition classes for 2 months until the final exams.

     

NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York

This year we participated in the 100% virtual CSW65 which was held between 15 – 26th March ’21. Our work was represented and advocated through our Founder & CEO ElsaMarie D’Silva who was a speaker on several panels. She spoke on 16th March on the topic of “Transforming gender stereotypes – Making the uncomfortable conversation comfortable”, an event sponsored by the International Presentation Association. You can find the recording here.

ElsaMarie D’Silva was also a featured speaker on March 18, 2021, at a webinar on hidden homelessness (domestic violence) co-sponsored by the Vincentian Family and UNANIMA International. An article written by Global Sisters can be found here.

Red Dot Foundation, hosted a parallel event which was moderated by ElsaMarie D’Silva on 16th March 2021 under the topic of “Using ICT for Gender Justice”. We released the social audit study that was carried out as part of a grant received by Vital Voices under the Voices against Violence program. The recording can be found here and the social audit can be found here.

Gillian D’Souza-Nazareth, our Director Global Partnerships and Principal Representative to the United Nations, independently managed the “Virtual Vienna Cafe” for NGOCSW/NY, a virtual space for Civil Society Organisations to interact with member states, which was a four-session event held over two weeks and attended by several member states and global NGOs. We were ably supported by our intern Shreya Salgia who attended multiple events across the two weeks to share the Safecity application and its functionality.

Safecity Safety Champion Campaign – March 2021

Red Dot Foundation (Safecity) launched a Safecity Safety Champion Volunteer Campaign on 8th March 2021 in partnership with Internshala and India Trust as part of the #UniteForHer Campaign with the tagline “Ek kadam aaj, ek ache kal ke liye” it is open to college students, school students, graduates and their families (users of Internshala).

Volunteers have always been an integral part of Safecity. Currently, we have 1000+ Safecity Safety Champions (volunteers) as part of this campaign across India – who have spoken to family and friends about gender-based violence and how to use the Safecity Platform for reporting. They have captured 4000+ gender-based violence and harassment stories till date.

“My vision is a safer and equitable world for all. This is critical for the emotional and physical wellbeing of every individual especially women and girls who face the pandemic of sexual and gender-based violence. At Safecity, we are grateful for the many volunteers who help us make cities and communities safer. They do this by encouraging people to report anonymously their experiences of sexual and gender-based violence, making this under-reported crime more visible. They also help us analyze the patterns and trends emerging in the data to engage with communities and individuals to drive local change. We all benefit from a safer city and community” says Ms. Elsa D’silva – Founder, Red Dot Foundation (Safecity)

The Safecity Safety Champions are dedicated, enthusiastic and believe in making spaces safer for all.

“The most important takeaway for me in this campaign was the amount of trauma almost every girl has to go through in her life when it comes to sexual harassment. It is said that we as a society don’t take this more seriously” – Safecity Safety Champion

“I learned a lot from this campaign and gained a lot of knowledge in actually identifying a type of harassment and the various legislations regarding that and got a chance to interact with people and to make them aware of all these things which built my confidence in public speaking and also increased confidence to take steps against criminals boldly and to work more on such social causes” – Safecity Safety Champion

Knowledge Cafe

Date – 3rd March 2021

Topic – Human Trafficking

Speaker – Pallabi Ghosh

Number of Participants – 46

Pallabi Ghosh is an anti-human trafficking activist and founder of Impact and Dialogue Foundation. She has been passionately working for rescuing trafficking people for many years. Through the workshop she cleared many misconceptions related to trafficking and sex work.

Trafficking is generally associated with kidnapping as shown in the movies. But Pallabi shared that it is often related to “luring” and people are often lured into trafficking for a better life under the garb of job, marriage, love, etc.

Sex work is not legal in India which many people believe. Doing sex work is voluntary and if one is undertaking sex work of her/his will then it is fine but nobody can force someone into sex work. This is a crime.

Human trafficking is not done only for sex work. But also for begging, selling organs, forceful marriage, etc. People are employed in factories demanding cheap labor and are made to work in hazardous circumstances.

Both girls and boys are trafficked. This is a misconception that only girls are trafficked.

It is not easy to seek help when victims are in public because traffickers never leave victims out of their control.

POLL result —

Q1. Human trafficking is only sex trafficking? 12 (Yes) 88 (No)

Q2. Human trafficking victims will attempt to seek help when in public. 47 (Yes) 53 (No)

Q3. Human trafficking victims are only poor people. 24 (Yes) 76 (No)

Q4. Human trafficking often looks like the movies, where someone is kidnapped and brought to another country to be exploited. 47 (Yes) 53 (No)

Q5. There’s nothing I can do to stop human trafficking. 53 (Yes) 43( No)

Q6. Human trafficking mainly happens in developing countries, not in developed countries. 60 (Yes) 40 (No)

 

Campus Ambassador Program

The Campus Ambassador Program is an initiative by Safecity to create safe campuses and communities by engaging youth from colleges. This program aims to empower young leaders while giving them a first-hand experience of leadership, communication and organizational skills.

Around forty five youth from all over India are working with us under this program. They have created teams in their areas and colleges, and are spreading awareness about safety issues in their communities. They are collecting reports from people about various crimes on our platform. We continue to brief and guide them about this program and have facilitated two capacity building sessions this month.

If you would like to be a Campus Ambassador, please apply here.

Celebrating स्त्रीत्व

Tania Echaporia – Director Operations and Partnerships at Red Dot Foundation was a speaker at the ‘Celebrating स्त्रीत्व’‘, an event organised by The Dias on 9th March to celebrate the spirit of womanhood and their efforts to challenge gender bias and inequality.

The discussions revolved around various aspects impacting the lives of many women and girls such as access to health, education, employment opportunities, stereotypes, legal aid and most importantly safety. The discussion was hosted virtually on Zoom and live-streamed on The Dais Facebook, was attended by university and school students as well as members of civil society, government bodies and professionals.

Tania opened the discussion by emphasising the importance of inculcating Gender Sensitivity training in the education curriculum in order to bring about gender equality and eradicate gender based violence.

The conversation was collaborative and directed towards one common and shared vision for the world as we all strive to find our place in it and be mindful of leaving none behind.

 

SafeCircle

SafeCircle is an initiative towards empowering our survivors of violence through constant encouragement and providing them with a platform to share their experiences. Over the last ten months, SafeCircle has helped over 25+ survivors of violence and harassment regularly to build resilience. We are nurturing SafeCircle as a platform for our survivors to find help, report and speak up against acts of violence and abuse. Our safe haven also enables the survivors to engage with the survivor community and learn various ways to deal with violence, facilitated by Supreet K Singh.

If you would like to support SafeCircle please visit here.

“I became a part of this great safe space of undeniably strong people just when I needed the ‘nurturing and nourishing’ of my spirit. Without any doubt, SafeCircle brings out renewed hope and faith continuously for me. I would like to credit each one on this circular table for their maturity, strength through their own experiences and most importantly their ability to extend support and compassion to the other. This space is made complete with smiles, laughter and this group’s ability to refocus on the positive. Many solutions come through with discussions and dealing with different levels of varied emotions. The name signifies what this space is all about..it’s safe and it’s a circle where everyone’s presence is balanced and equitable.” – Anonymous

If you would like to be a SafeCircle facilitator, please apply here.

Choose to Challenge with Young Champions and Leaders of Diplomatic Missions of Western India

Choose to Challenge was the IWD theme. On 9th March, we hosted an event with four young champions and six senior leaders from the Diplomatic Missions of Western India. Through story telling our young champions had an opportunity to learn from the six diplomats about how they have navigated difficult situations, challenged the status quo and become leaders. Here the inspiring session here. This event was held in partnership with UNICEF, Crosswords Bookstore and mention the six consulates.

Click here for the recording.

Supreet K Singh recited a poem “Who is a Woman” for the event with UNICEF and the Diplomatic Missions on the International Women’s Day.

Who is she?

कौन है वो?

ख्वाब सहलाती

रूहानी इशारे सी

आवारा जज़्बाती

फ़िज़ा है वो

मुहौब्बत है

करार है

ज़ुल्फ़े संवारती

गज़ल है वो

पंछी सी आज़ाद है

बेहती घटा सी लचीली है वो

देवी है शक्ति है

शोले सी बेख़ौफ़ है वो

कुछ वो सुने

कुछ मैं कहू

दो पल ज़िंदगी की

आह है वो

जहाॉ चाहे जो भी कहे

गुलों के दर सी मेहक्ती है वो

फूलों सी खिलखिलाती

खुले आसमान मे पतंग है वो

आज रात वो चाँद से खेलेगी

शब में बेहकी बून्द है वो

क्यों पूचता है उसके रूख़ का मंज़र

खुदा की खुदाई का कलम है वो

Importance of Digital Rights and Safety Education.

The panel discussion on the Importance of Digital Rights and Safety Education was hosted on 30 March with

Ms. Nappinai NS, Advocate Supreme Court of India and Founder CyberSaathi®,

Sameer Unhale, The Joint Commissioner, Directorate of Municipal Administration, Government of Maharashtra and

Dr Harsh Purohit, Dean, FMS-WISDOM and Off. Dean Jamnalal Bajaj School of Legal Studies, Banasthali Vidyapith.

ElsaMarie DSilva moderated the session.

The session touched upon the importance of digital rights and safety education as a critical 21st century life skills and the need for it to be part of the mainstream education curriculum. The panelists discussed what it would take to make it a reality. This event was part of a grant received from the British High Commission under the Chevening Alumni Grant and was in partnership with Cyber Saathi®

The recording can be found here.

The white paper released as part of the project can be found here.

Intern Talks

‘Difficult times often bring out the best in people and in my case that is absolutely true. 2020 made me a better person. It was a positive year for me as I observed substantial personal and mental growth. It made me aware, selfless and more empathetic. But most importantly, it took my social life to a whole new level. I was a lazy designer who used to procrastinate most of the time. I missed out on opportunities, denied work, dragged deadlines, and took things lightly. But now, I find happiness and inspiration from anything and everything. I still am that lazy boy who loves to do nothing. But I have become better at managing my time and handling the work systematically.

Early this year I started my internship with Red Dot Foundation, Safecity, and regained the potential I had lost during my first two semesters at Architecture school. I am crazy about Social Work and Designing. This internship has given me the chance to integrate them both and to make a change by melding my skills and hard work. I hope to bring out the best in myself and this team as well.’

 

Emerging Leader – Ritesh Kumar

I am Ritesh Kumar, a Bhubaneswar-based multi-disciplinary UI/UX Designer and developer. I found salvation and happiness through reinvention as a designer. I am currently pursuing my second-year Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology. I am well-versed in negotiations, planning and development, problem-solving and communication.

I have always wanted to work with a non-profit organization that benefits society and helps needy people. The greatest advantage of non-profit work is the satisfaction you feel while working. The ability to direct influence and help a weaker section of society is extremely rewarding. I know we are creating positive change and that is a great source of mental peace for me. If I talk about my role model, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam has been a hero of mine since I was a child.

 

Key points to understand through data

Classification of incidents by time of the day in Mumbai:

Classification of incidents by time of the day in Delhi:

Classification by category of abuse for Mumbai:

Classification by category of abuse for Delhi:

Click here for Data Dashboard of various locations for the month of March 2021

 

Safecity Reporting Platform

Safecity aims at making our cities safer for every citizen. It is rigorously working towards the fulfillment of this cause by empowerment through data. By reporting and sharing your story, one can help and aware others through this platform. The data collected at the Safecity reporting platform also ensures help for our local governing and authoritative bodies in regulating violent crimes in our cities in both public and private spaces.

Report an incident on Safecity Platform >

Download Safecity App on iOS Devices >

Download Safecity App on Android Devices >

Upcoming Events in March

Anti Street Harassment Week 11-17 April

Tweet chats on @pinthecreep at 9 pm IST / 1130 am EST

  • 11 April – Shruti Sharada – Understanding the nature of Street Harassment
  • 12 April – Sayfty – Making it Home Safely*
  • 13 April – Sushmita Das – Psychological impact of Street Harassment on women and marginalised genders
  • 14 April – Breakthrough India – Bystander Intervention And Violence Against Women in Public Spaces
  • 15 April – Children Railway – Street Harassment and its impact on Children
  • 16 April – ATC Prerana – Street Harassment & Sex workers
  • 17 April – Chinky Homo – Street Harassment & Transgender Community

*Sayfty will host the chat at 0830 pm IST / 11 am EST @Sayfty

Club House chats –

  • 12 April – 0630 pm PDT / 0930 pm EST / India 13 April 7 am – Calling out catcalling  https://www.joinclubhouse.com/event/PbD3VN5y
  • 16 April – 10 pm IST / 0630 pm CET / 1230 pm EST – StreetHarassment is not cool – https://joinclubhouse.com/event/M17v83OL

Insta Live on 14 April between @CatcallsNYC and @Pinthecreep at 0930 pm IST / 6 pm EST / Noon EST / 9 am PDT

Panel Discussion – Making our Streets and Communities safer on 15 April at 5 pm IST / 0130 pm CET / 0730 am EST – Register here.

  • You can list your individual action here with a picture and quote.

That’s all for this month. Keep watching this space and we’ll keep you updated on all our work every month!  

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