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.
SHE IS Book Launch
SHE IS aims to showcase the journeys of 33 women leaders in their respective fields and also in the realisation of the 17 SDGs through their work. We have scientists, police women, judges and business entrepreneurs who have shared their failures and successes. Through their unique perspectives, they have shared how despite one’s background one can achieve one’s goals, overcome socio-cultural barriers and contribute to the collective good.
The virtual book launch, with a large attendance, was graciously supported by the British High Commission and Chevening Alumni India on 25th November 2021. Mr Alex Ellis, The British High Commissioner to India gave the keynote address.
Here’s what some leading women in the forefront have to say about the book:
“The story of civilization has been presented to us as His story – as if women did not exist…. And yet it is their lives and struggles down the ages, producing, preserving and nurturing the human race, that is the true story. Neglected, under-nourished, exploited and suppressed women have survived and lived their lives. Their voices, suppressed, for long, are today heard from Village Councils to Parliaments, and United Nations Chambers – clear and loud – “we exist and we will speak”. From law making to protest movements women are assuming leadership roles – they have become visible. “She Is” is a tribute to those women of courage and commitment who are helping shape the world. I congratulate ElsaMarie D’Silva and her team for this compilation of stories of women that inspire.” – Margaret Alva, Former Governor and Union Minister, Government of India
“This book is an important contribution to highlight stories of women who are dedicating their lives to better the human race. These are stories that needed to be told ~ to inspire, to motivate and to acknowledge women who have gone beyond all challenges to achieve their goals and contribute towards a more equitable society. For India which faces a skewed gender balance in all spaces, their stories bring hope. Hope our young girls get inspired by these real heroes!” – Priyanka Chaturvedi, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Art for Healing Toolkit Launch
Red Dot Foundation facilitated a series of workshops in partnership with the Consulate General of Germany in Mumbai and Mosaics & Circles for transforming experiences of gender-based violence into visual arts.
The aim of this workshop series was to:
– Help survivors break their silence around their experiences of sexual violence.
– Create stories through visual arts that will make it easier to absorb the information.
– Use visual arts as a therapeutic self-care routine to break the silence, find solidarity and provide an avenue to seek help.
– Create a resource that can be used by survivors and others for prevention and response to sexual violence.
We launched our self-help book at the final online event of “Art for Healing” on 26th November with a number of participants and supporters. A few courageously shared their feedback and the positive impact the sessions made on them.
Watch the launch video here.
“The painter should paint not only what he has in front of him, but also what he sees inside himself” ~ Caspar David Friedrich (German artist)
‘Art for healing’ is a program that teaches how to use creative expression to voice stories of trauma and sexual violence. The book is a resource that can be used by survivors and others as a therapeutic self-care toolkit to heal over such experiences.
You can watch the final event here.
R U Safe? Design Challenge on making cities safer for everyone
The Design Challenge has been organised by Red Dot Foundation along with the Consulate General of Australia in Mumbai, The Data Duck and QUT Design Lab on Tech, Design and Systems Thinking Challenge for creating safer cities during the 16 days (November 25 – December 10) of activism to end gender-based violence (GBV).
Theme of the challenge – How might we engage people who are otherwise disengaged to make cities safer and reduce street harassment?
Through this design challenge, we propose to host workshops including masterclasses with youth in Western India. They will understand the issue of sexual and gender-based violence, its impact on the lives of survivors, learn about tech solutions like the Safecity reporting platform, the Chatty Bench Project and use of technology like AR and UI/UX design for impactful visualisations to generate solutions. We will encourage them to develop digital artefacts for better bystander intervention in tackling violence against women and making cities safer for women and girls. This will further add to the educational content on safer cities and equip students to think of creative solutions whilst learning and doing.
The participants will attend a series of masterclasses which will:
- Engage youth to understand the issue of sexual and gender-based violence through workshops that combine data analysis, storytelling, gender sensitivity and new technology like augmented reality.
- Provide youth with design and systems thinking skills to develop solutions for social impact.
- Collaborate with educational institutions, urban city planners, NGOs and data analysts to develop tech-enabled visualisations, communications and solutions for better bystander intervention on GBV, to build networks to tackle the problem and to normalise conversations of GBV to remove the stigma for survivors and shift blame to perpetrators.
- Create a database of resources and a toolkit that can be used as solutions for interventions on GBV.
The Challenge started with a call for entries. It received an excellent response and 58 applicants were divided into 12 teams. The teams attended an orientation session on 18th November which aimed at introducing them to each other and to the ‘Discord’ app which will be the key mode of communication during this challenge. During this session, the teams worked at presenting their Team Charter, which outlined their goals, their expectations and limitations as well as the obstacles they expected to face.
The 1st two Masterclasses were held on 25th & 26th November on Zoom.
25th November: Defining the problem and setting the context
Watch the video here.
26th November: Masterclasses on tech, community design and social impact
Watch the video here.
The teams will now work on their designs, and work on their final expected output, which is 4 digital artefacts or videos of 30 seconds each on the theme of the challenge.
2 more Masterclasses are slated for 2nd & 3rd December.
The best solutions will be showcased at the Kalaghoda Festival in Mumbai in February 2022.
Here is some interesting feedback from the participants:
“We learnt about the pervasive nature of domestic violence from our expert mentees. Now, I am more determined than ever to work towards eliminating this social evil. Thanks a lot for these wonderful sessions, once again.” – Shivam
“They always say collaboration runs the world. Well said! Saw it in the sessions we’ve had at Safecity for the Design Challenge. A few phrases from everyone created art! An art, a piece of text which was so simple and yet so special. These two days, made me go back home and feel grateful for the privileges of being able to think and rediscover. With this, realization hit me hard, a tenacity, a spark to create an impact, and to add to the illuminated crown, whose light creates a safe space, a safe city! Thanks.” – Riya Choithani
“Marking the 16 day design challenge, we are stepping into new creative aspects on how design can bring about change through collaboration of people and ideas from different parts of the world introducing aspects of media architecture, experience design, story telling, poetry and lot more which indeed opens us to a wide spectrum of thoughts where we as individuals can bring about change.” – Ayswarya Sajeev K
Stockholm Democracy Talks 2021
ElsaMarie DSilva participated at this event (by invitation only) hosted by the Government of Sweden on 28-29 October. She provided comments at the roundtable on “Young people’s engagement in democracy”. The full report on the deliberations is available here.
COP26 statement at the event organised by UN Habitat’s World Urban Campaign on 10 November. ElsaMarie DSilva presented the recommendations from our Urban Thinkers Campus at the roundtable addressing vulnerability. Our key outputs were shared with all at the start of the event. Our UTC report submitted can be viewed here.
Laadli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity
Despite a severe second wave of Covid 19 this year, Population First received more than 900 entries in 10 different languages from across the country from print, electronic and web media covering 23 categories. 98 journalists were recognized for their gender-sensitive work at the 11th edition of Laadli Media & Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity, one of its kind awards in the world, given exclusively for promoting gender sensitivity in the media. As in the past years, the initiative was once again supported by UNFPA and the Norwegian Embassy in India.
ElsaMarie D’Silva, Founder, Red Dot Foundation is one of the proud recipients of the Laadli Award in the western region of the country for her stellar contribution on the web by way of the beliEVE podcast series in collaboration with Awaaz.com. The podcast series featured the journeys of 12 women from different walks of life. Hear the stories here.
The chief guest, Ms Faye D’Souza, in her address at the online ceremony remarked “I noticed the change it makes when we put women in the centre of the stories that we tell. While I was in television, the more women we included in the edit meeting, the more sensitive the outcome of our coverage was. So, women included not just in the edit meeting but given a voice to make arguments for stories that they believed ought to be carried with the perspectives that these stories should have been carried in, really made a difference to the outcome.”
Watch the live presentation here.
Community Champion Campaign
Since our launch in 2012, we have collected over 35,000 reports from India, Kenya, Nepal and other countries. With this data collected through the Safecity platform, we strive to bring change by community-driven interventions to make public spaces accessible for all.
Working in this direction, we launched the Community Champion Campaign this year to engage youth in making public spaces safer by designing action-oriented programs for the community to address safety issues.
One of the Community Champions from Bangalore, Ayswarya Sajeev K, took the initiative to visit different police stations in Bangalore and present the data dashboard of the city to police stations. Ayswarya is a graduate in Engineering from MES College of Engineering and Technology, Ernakulam.
She first met the Station House Officer of Mico layout police station of the city Bangalore. She explained our work at Safecity and showed how the Safecity reporting platform works. She also explained the meaning and importance of the data dashboard.
Then, she presented the data to Madilwal Police station and traffic police booth.
Often girls and women avoid reporting to responsible authorities because of all the legal proceedings they might face. We aim to share the data collected concerning incidents of sexual harassment with concerned authorities to bring about change.
“I’m glad that I stepped out and presented the data to public authorities and local bodies who are responsible to safeguard our society. It was a bit difficult to get them to acknowledge the data and explain the importance of the data dashboards. Initially, I felt apprehensive too, but after the first acknowledgement, the process seemed easier. I also feel happy that I did my bit to facilitate the creation of a safer and inclusive society.” – Ayswarya Sajeev.
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 – Disha
“My experience at Safecity has been very interesting as it made me aware of my own versatility and at the same it has allowed me to spread awareness about pertinent issues. The internship has enabled me to actively evaluate discourse surrounding gender, sexuality and the struggles that accompany persons who are in a minority. The entire journey has been very enjoyable and informative and has helped me in becoming a more expressive participant in important conversations.”
Key points to understand through data
Click here to see the Safecity Data Graphics for the month of November.
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.
- 25 Nov – 10 Dec – 16 Days of Activism to end Gender-Based Violence – Follow us on social media.
- 8 Nov – 8 Dec – Registration for Data Challenge for Women’s Safety. Register here.
- 3 Dec – Towards Prevention of Sexual Harassment in Public Spaces, a tweetchat for 16 Days of Activism with Durga. 9 pm IST/10.30 am EDT on Twitter at @TheSafecityApp.
- 9 Dec – Crowdmapping Racial and Gender-based violence, a panel discussion at the Summit for Democracy. 9 pm IST/10.30 am EDT. Register here.
- 10 Dec – R U Safe? Final event of the Design Challenge for safer cities. Register here.
- 10 Dec – Launch of the ‘Bioscope Project’ with O&M. Follow us on social media for more information.
- 10 Dec – Tweetchat on Online Safety in partnership with the US Consulate.
- 13 and 15 Dec – Cyber Safety Workshops for Protsahan, Delhi.
- R U Safe? Design Challenge on making safer cities.
- Responsible Tourism Incubator. If you’d like to offer your mentorship, please do register here.
- Community Intervention Challenge
- Safety Champion Campaign
- Safe Campus Project, Phaltan, Satara
- Community Champion Campaign