An app to identify safe zones in a city


What makes public spaces safer for women? Undoubtedly, increased budgetary spending on safety measures is critical. However, the recent 2015 Union Budget, which has doubled its outlay on women’s safety issues without having come up with adequate schemes to utilise the funds, begs the question: are expensive schemes the only way to make our public spaces women-friendly? Safetipin, a free smartphone app, demonstrates that it takes relatively cheap technology and a great deal of ingenuity to take the issue of women’s safety to the one place they can best control — their own hands.

Started in 2013 by techie and Kalpana Vishwanath, prominent women’s rights activist and ex-head of Jagori, is an app that uses a mix of crowdsourcing and in-house safety audits to allow users to plot their locations on a map and see its safety score. While the green pins on the map indicate places that are well populated, brightly lit and close to public transport, red pins flag unsafe zones. “Users can check the app on their phones to make safer choices. It also allows them to choose to be tracked by a trusted relative or friend when they feel the need to,” says Vishwanath. Once logged in, users can conduct their own “safety audits” that are based on specific quantitative parameters like street lights, a number of women in the public space, how visible one is to others and the distance to public transport. “The safety audit also includes a qualitative parameter, with regards to how safe the user actually feesl,” says Vishwanath.

Safetipin’s 6,000-odd audits so far (mostly in Delhi NCR but in pilot stages in nine Indian and three world cities) have yielded interesting data inputs for urban planners and the government. “We have found that, by and large, women’s perceptions of safety are based on some criteria — the level of lighting in the area (well-lit places “feel” safer), the gender diversity in the area (places with women around are perceived as less threatening) and the degree of visibility (places where the woman is in plain sight of others are generally considered better than secluded spots).

“When we audited six bus terminals on these parameters, we suggested that more seating inside the terminal would encourage more people, especially women, elderly and children to wait there. Public toilets and street vendors inside the terminals would also ensure steady traffic, making them safer places on the whole,” says Vishwanath. “Over time, the data we collect could be useful to NGOs for advocacy for safer spaces, as well as to the government for designing them better,” she says....Article Source.

Download Safetipin App From Google Play Store..... Personal & Women Safety App

Download Safetipin App From Apple Play Store......Personal & Women Safety App