Business Name: Safecity, a project that identifies locations where women have experienced any type of sexual harassment
Type of Business: Social Enterprise, Safety and Security
Business Location: India
Reason for starting
We were outraged by the horrific and brutal rape that took place in Delhi in Dec 2012. In addition, we were shocked by the poor statistics on reporting of crime. We realised that horrifying incidents definitely move us to tears but after a while our busy lifestyles take over and we go on with our daily routines. We have become conditioned to absorb a huge magnitude of horror and are immune to most of it. This had to stop! We realized that we had to make a contribution; we wanted to create action and make a difference! Was there a way for each citizen to participate in cleaning up the process? What could be simple and effective yet tap into the knowledge that the billion citizens of India already have? Therefore we came up with our solution – safecity.in.
How do you define success?
We have been overwhelmed with the response to SafeCity. The concept resonates with many like-minded citizens who have not only shared their experiences on the platform but offered their time and skills to spread awareness, design creatives and promote the platform. The journey has just begun, and we have a long way to go!
We are less than 3 months old but we have had a few good things that we can talk about. The Goa Police were keen to work with us and accept data directly from the citizens. Therefore, we now have the option to send a report direct as a complaint to the police in Goa if the location is in the state of Goa. Also, we have partnered with SafeTrace (a mobile app) and I Did Not Report for a voice based messaging system. It was not easy getting all this implemented in a short while, wholly with volunteer support, free of cost whilst working our day jobs as well.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
There is a lot of personal time and energy involved. You also need to have good contacts. The main challenge, however, is getting people to overcome their inertia and skepticism and, come out and report. The platform allows anonymous reporting which is convenient. However, we as a society have become so apathetic that we are most happy doing nothing to change our situation, unless it affects us directly. We would like to see more people take positive action to improve the situation and stop blaming the institutions. It is the hope that we can make a positive change and an impact in our own way that keeps us going. We want SafeCity to belong to the people and all our endeavors are towards making that happen.
Who is your most important role model?
We have several role models but this initiative draws its insipration from the Open Source movement where people have innovated and used the forces of citizens to create something meaningful that has a larger impact.