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In Gurgaon, going to office is a risky business

Counted among one of the fastest growing corporate hubs in the country, Gurgaon is home to more than 250 Fortune500 companies. But it seems that the city has been unable to provide a safe environment to its large number of office goers, especially women. A safety audit conducted recently by social enterprise Safetipin has found that all major corporate or commercial hubs in Gurgaon score low on safety parameters. In the survey, the hubs were rated on nine parameters- lighting, openness, visibility, crowd, security, footpaths, transport, gender usage and feeling of safety. Areas with average scores below 1 out of 5 have been rated ‘poor’, those with scores between 1 and 3.4 have been rated ‘average’ and the ones with scores above 3.4 have been rated ‘good’. Interestingly, among the six commercial hubs-- MG Road, Golf Course Road, Sector 34, Sector 44, Cyber City and Udyog Vihar-- only MG Road has scored above 3 out of 5. Golf Course Road, which has several offices, hotels and posh condominiums, was ranked one of the lowest with a score of only 1.6 out of 5. Safetipin has rated the area ‘average’. The safety scenario of the area is important as at least 15 projects have been planned here, including expansion of Golf Course Road to make it a 16-lane expressway and southward extension of the Rapid Metro from the Sikanderpur station to Sector 56.Commuters passing through the area and corporate employees working here said though it is being developed rapidly, safety has not been given due importance. They said there is the very little police presence in the area most of the times.“Thousands of people come to this area every day but it has no streetlights, sign boards or footpaths, making commuting very difficult. Also, policemen are rarely seen patrolling the area,” said Ankita Singh, whose office is in the area. Similarly, the DLF Cyber City road, a 2-km long circular loop which has more than 10 buildings, has scored only 2.3 out of 5, which is ‘average’. The buildings house hundreds of corporate offices where over three lakh employees come to workevery day. Most of those working in the area agreed with the survey results. According to them, the place is plagued by several problems like lack of footpaths, police presence and streetlights. Women working in the area say a lot of stretches there are dark and they feel unsafe at night.“There is a wine shop very close to my office and a lot of people park their vehicles there at night,” said Yashika Batla, an employee of a Gurgaon-based MNC who lives in Delhi. Udyog Vihar, which has several companies in and around it, has also scored low in the audit. It has been given a score of only 2.9 out of 5, which is also ‘average’. Office-goers complain that public transport facilities and last-mile connectivity in the area are very poor.“The area is lined up with big and small firms, but there is no last-mile connectivity in Udyog Vihar. It is difficult to find an autorickshaws in the area, especially at night. Also bus services are not available here,” said Ridhima Singh, employee of an MNC in the area.Similarly, Sector 44, which has several offices, hotels and even a cultural hub, Epicentre, has not scored high. The sector has scored 1.5, performing badly on four parameters of security, transport, lighting and gender usage. Sector 34, which has the office of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon, has also fared badly in the survey, scoring an average of 2.1.“There are a lot of dark stretches around Sector 34. Another major problem faced by us is frequent waterlogging,” said Anuraga Basu, a resident of Sector 34. Pooja Misra, an employee of a private firm in Sector 44, said, “The area is crowded all the time but we rarely see police patrolling the roads.”Surprisingly, MG Road is among the top scorers in the commercial area category, with an average score of 3.4.The road, with nine malls on each side and a metro station, is infamous for poor safety, with several incidents of drunken brawls being reported from here in the past. Residents of the area said though the area is well-lit and has many options for last-mile connectivity like autorickshaws, buses and metro, it is unsafe at night.“My parents do not allow me to travel alone on MG Road after 9pm. There are several bars and clubs and there have been cases where drunken men have created a nuisance on the road,” said Harshita Pande, a resident of the city. Even four Metro stations-- Huda City Centre, Iffco Chowk, MG Road, and Sikanderpur-- in the city have not passed the safety test.No Metro station, other than the one on MG Road, scored an average of more than 2 out of 5 in the Safetipin audit.Iffco Chowk Metro station scored the lowest with an average score of only 1.5, followed by the Huda City Centre station with an average score of 1.7. According to metro commuters, there are many dark and deserted stretches around these stations and this makes them unsafe. Also, the last-mile connectivity is poor and police presence is very low. “There is very little security around metro stations. CISF officials keep a strict vigil inside the stations but as one steps out, there is no security at all. Last-mile connectivity is also a problem,” said Nikita Sharma, a college student. The police, meanwhile, said they are taking several initiatives to make the city safer.“The police have taken serious initiatives like ‘Romeo Free Gurgaon’ and community policing. We will make more efforts to ensure that the residents of Gurgaon feel safe on roads,” said Balbir Singh, deputy commissioner of police (crime), Gurgaon..Article Source..Hindu Stan Times Article Source..Hindustan Times

Survey Ranks Gurgaon ‘Below average’ for Women

A year-long survey and audit by SafetiPin, a Gurgaon based organisation, reveals that Gurgaon scored very low on nine parameters which are crucial for women safety. SafetiPin is a social enterprise that provides technology solutions to make cities safer for women.   The city has been rated ‘below average’, with a score of 3.5 on the parameters of lighting, openness, visibility, crowd, security, footpaths, transport, gender usage, and safety. Kalpana Vishwanath, founder of SafetiPin, said that lack of streetlights, footpaths, inadequate police presence, dark areas, poor public transport and lack of public discussion have created unsafe conditions for women in the city. South City 2, Artemis Hospital Road, Belvedere Park near Cyber City, Ardee city, Sector 57, Hilton Garden Road, Badhshahpur Road and Sushant Lok Vyapar Kendra were found to be exceptionally unsafe spots for women commuters. SafetiPin users reported maximum incidents of harassment, inappropriate physical contact, lewd comments and improper glances in these areas. There is a lack of adequate lighting on most of the roads across the city and particularly in these unsafe areas. Even crowded areas like Iffco Chowk, Leisure Valley Road, DLF Phase 3, Chakkarpur-Saraswati Vihar junction and Subash Chowk Road are particularly short of street lights. Good lighting and higher public presence on roads lead to increased feeling of security among women, the reason why areas with mixed-land use in the city and parts of Old Gurgaon are rated safer by women commuters. Vishwanath said better urban infrastructure, transport and more policing is the key to make Gurgaon a better place for women....Article Source...Hindustan Times

“SafetiPin” Audits Show Poor Security for Women

Little seems to have changed in the capital after the huge outpouring of anger at the gang rape of December 2012. According to an analysis by SafetiPin — a map-based application that allows you to share your view of the safety of your neighbourhood — security continues to be poor in New Delhi, despite noises made to the contrary. SafetiPin, designed by Ashish Basu and Kalpana Viswanath, promotes the interactive app launched in the capital in November 2013 and, later, in several other cities including Bangalore, Guwahati, Chennai, Trivandrum, Kochi and Pune with partner NGOs. It allows people to judge if a certain public place in the city is safe, based on nine parameters including availability of light, openness, visibility, gender diversity and proximity of public transport. Safetipin also collects data based on meetings with stakeholders and civic authorities. Positive impact The South west district police in Delhi have issued a newsletter based on the findings of Safetipin in the area and called a meeting of residents to improve security. The police are reworking patrol routes based on the information. Ms. Viswanath said that the idea was not to measure crime but the fear factor. “Does a woman feel safe in a public place or not, is she fearful?” she asked. Safetipin has done an analysis of about 10,000 spots in New Delhi and each spot has a safety score. The audits were all conducted in the evening between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Respondents have given below average ratings for parameters such as availability of light, openness, walk paths and public transportation. The app uses ‘pins’ to indicate the level of safety — green for safe, amber for less safe and red for unsafe. It allows the user to record instances of harassment or hazards and gives location information like timings of shops, availability of autorickshaws and general directions. Download Safetipin App Google Play Store: Safetipin - Complete Safety App Download Safetipin App Apple Play Store: Safetipin - Complete Safety App

Uber Nairobi partners with SafetiPin

Uber, which launched its smartphone app in Kenya in January this year, says it plans to advance the contribution to SafetiPin’s data collection efforts across Nairobi by providing access to partner-drivers and their cars.These partner-drivers, based at different locations in the city, will be trained and work at night with SafetiPin’s safety auditors, reads a statement.According to the statement, SafetiPin works by collecting data of locations based on nine parameters that together contribute to the perception of safety by measuring actual location conditions in order to generate a safety score for an area. And the information is supplemented with comments and photographs from real users and trained safety auditors.READ MOREUber goes on charm offensive in Kenya Uber initiates driver training in Nairobi Kenya's capital becomes sixth African city to launch Uber NairobiKaitlin Freedman, operations manager, Uber Nairobi said, “Uber is committed to bringing the best in class safety to the streets of Nairobi. By working together with SafetiPin on this cross-border initiative we hope to provide local communities with the technologies to enable them to travel more safely around their cities.”“... As part of our work in cities, we are delighted to have Uber’s participation and support in key cities around the world. This association will provide us with a much larger data set that would otherwise not have been possible, and the process is easier with Uber’s engaged and professional driver community,” said Ashish Basu, founder of SafetiPin.The Uber and SafetiPin collaboration was born in New Delhi, India and it is expected in other global markets in the coming months, with the aim to cover approximately 20,000 km of city roads and areas...Article Source. Download Safetipin App From Google Play Store..... Personal & Women Safety App Download Safetipin App From Apple Play Store......Personal & Women Safety App

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 Ashish Basu and Kalpana Vishwanath, prominent women’s rights activist and ex-head of Jagori, Safetipin 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 Delhi Transport Corporation 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

Safety Auditing of Hyderabad done by VOICE 4 Girls using Safetipin App

Hyderabad: City-based non-profit organisation VOICE 4 Girls has partnered with the British Deputy High Commission, Hyderabad to raise awareness around gender-based violence among college students and government school girls in the city. The three- month project included awareness building workshops and a safety audit of public spaces in the Hyderabad. As part of the audit, college students from seven colleges in the city mapped hazards, harassment and public amenities in the city on a smartphone application called Safetipin. This data has been covered over the period of one month and presents a good picture of the safety scenario in the city. A meet to discuss the findings has been organized on December 5. This event will also mark the end of the project and the UN's '16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence'. Andrew Mc Allister, the British Deputy High Commissioner of Hyderabad will be the Chief Guest at the event. The conference will also be attended by Swati Lakra, SHE Team, Hyderabad Police, Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Ex- Vice Chancellor, Hyderabad Central University, Sunitha Krishnan, Prajwala, Anant Maringanti, Hyderabad Urban Lab, Reddy Prakash, UNICEF and Aisha Mahmood Farooqi, President of Anveshi Research Centre....Article Source Download Safetipin App from Goole Play Store.... Personal & Women Safety App Download Safetipin App from Apple Play Store....Personal & Women Safety App

SafetiPin, an App to Create Safe Cities and Prevent Harassment

Safetipin is a free application created in New Delhi (India), to try to create safer cities for women through public participation. The status of women in India is especially hard because, according to the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, one woman is raped every 20 minutes . This app was launched in November 2013 and so far has been downloaded more than 10,000 times in that country. The experience has been so successful it has continued moving through Latin America. Colombia, where every 14 minutes a woman is attacked by her partner, was the first country to adopt this tool to geotag public information in the streets of Bogota. After this city has continued to experience moving to other countries to achieve make cities safer for women counting on your collaboration and experience places. This application registers information related to citizen safety rates experienced by users and evaluating the most dangerous areas and thus working for the right of women to freely walk the streets without fear for their safety. Safetipin closely encourages the cooperation of the citizens with their governments providing real time information to all sectors interested in improving this situation as tourism-related entrepreneurs, traders or governments own time. In Bogotá this application was part of a project of the Secretariat for Women , specifically in districts protection of women victims of violence (SOFIA) to provide greater protection for women in the Colombian capital. Kalpana Viswanath ( @ SafetipinApp ), researcher and activist in the field of urban security and gender, co-founder of the tool, pointing at El Espectador its intention to develop the app in 10 other Indian cities. The information collected is delivered to the police, they work closely together to "increase security in areas requiring priority attention and better lighting." This tool uses 8 categories ranging from inappropriate comments to groping and indecent exposure, conditions that disproportionately affect women. The operation of the tool is simple because users only have to submit reports assessing the places you have lived a situation of harassment, thus avoiding certain areas considered dangerous. This content is poured into a geographic information map to visualize quickly the safest areas of the city...Article source. Download Safetipin App Google Play Store...... Safetipin: Complete Safety App Download Safetipin Apple Store..... Safetipin: Complete Safety App

Download: SafetiPin (Android, iOS)

For a while now, popular app repositories have seen quite a drastic spike up in the number of "safety" apps. Most of them don’t work as well as advertised (check out our review of FightBack here), or are just poorly implemented because of lack of resources (data connectivity, location tracking, unstable OS, etc), here's one more added to the list.This one, however, claims to be a bit different — the SafetiPin app suggests that it is more of a neighbourhood watch thing. You can create your ‘Circles of Interest’ and follow any post, just like that in Google+ and you can pin pictures, just like with Pinterest. And to make this a fun social experiment, you can add posts with pictures; and comment on what others put up as well. Check out the download details below:Publisher: Ashish Basu / SafetiPinPrice: FreePlatforms: iOS, AndroidSize: 6.4 MB - 20.3 MBDownload URLs: iOS - Safetipin: Complete Safety App Android - Safetipin: Complete Safety App

Uber drivers will mount cameras on their cars for crowdsourced neighborhood safety project

Uber is making moves to boost its security credentials today with the news that it’s partnering with Safetipin, a crowdsourced community service that collates safety-related data submitted by the public. The company says it will look to “contribute to Safetipin’s data collection efforts” by training its own drivers to work in tandem with Safetipin’s auditors. Uber’s drivers will collect data at night using camera-enabled smartphones, which will be mounted to the exterior of their cars to capture photos of neighborhoods and roads. Each snap will then be tagged based on nine key attributes to arrive at an overall safety score, including: lighting, visibility, openness, security, walk-path, and gender diversity. This marks part of Uber’s bigger shift toward working on its reputation, after Uber was banned in Delhi, India following rape allegations made against a driver late last year. The woman in question is now suing the company in a U.S. court. The fruits of this Safetipin partnership will first be seen in India’s New Delhi before arriving in “other global markets” later this year, including Bogotá, Colombia and Nairobi, Kenya. Circles of interestSafetipinSafetipin is a map-based smartphone app that invites users to rank communities’ safety credentials and discuss all things “security” pertaining to their neighbourhoods. Safetipin itself launched in Delhi back in 2013, but it can be used anywhere in the world. Users set up what are known as “Circles of Interest,” which typically would be a neighborhood, but could also be a university campus or place of work. Anyone can then post comments to these circles, which can include things like incidents, hazards, harassments, or even a “bad feeling.” Users can also upload photographs to supplement these comments. This data is used to help promote safety for women and other groups. So-called “safety audits” are made available not only to the general public, but also to governments, NGOs, and other key stakeholders. Safety and planningUber says it will also work directly with governments and town planners to work on new projects based on this data, which may involve things like erecting new streetlights.... Article Source....VentureBeat

‘Safetipin’ Identifies Unsafe Spots for Women in City

KOCHI: The students of Sacred Heart college has prepared an audit report of the areas in the city which are unsafe for women. The report was prepared using the app ‘Safetipin’. It concludes that security of women is at risk in some of the main spots in the city, including Thevara, Karikkamuri, Elamkulam, Shenoys, Marine Drive, Ernakulam South and Vennala. The safety audit report was released at the college on Friday. Sacred Heart College principal Fr Prasant Palackapillil handed over the audit review to Muhammed Rafeeq, DCP (Administration and crime). The app, ‘SafetiPin’, is a map-based free mobile safety app which uses crowd-sourced information to prepare safety audits. Users and professionally trained auditors can provide safety-related information in the app. It consists of a set of nine parameters that together contribute to the perception of safety in a region. Each audit using the app results in a pin on the specific location where the audit was performed. It also records the time and date of each audit. The event was jointly organised by Sakhi Women’s Resource Centre and SH School of Communication. Police authorities, lawyers, corporation officials, Kochi Metro representatives and students shared their concern at the function. Corporation Town Planning Standing Committee Chairman K J Sohan stated the need of such ventures like ‘Safetipin’ for safer cities and pledged support for the implementation of such projects in the city. Babu Joseph, Director of SH School of Communication, Shana Susan Ninan, Surakshitha Kochi Programme Coordinator, Mini Dileep and Seena Teacher, Corporation Councillors, Anna M, Safetipin programme coordinator, Rejitha, representative from Sakhi,Beena Sebastian, Cultural Academy for Peace, and Jyothi Narayanan attended the event....Article Source....Newindianexpress.com