Mumbai, 15th December 2017:
Vijaya Rahatkar, Chairperson of Maharashtra State Commission for Women launched the Safety Audit Report. This report is part of Safe Cities Programme undertaken by Safetipin with UN Women in collaboration with Akshara Centre and UBER. A total of 5,834 audits have been conducted over 366 km of road length, showcasing data on physical infrastructure and social usage in public spaces of Mumbai. While 56% of Mumbai is rated good in terms of safety, only 31% of the streets are adequately lit and 22% is walkable.
Dr. Nandita Shah, Co-director of Akshara organization said “It has been five years since Jyoti Singh’s death, an incident that raised the concerns of women’s safety in India. We are glad to take up the cause along with Safetipin, UN Women and Uber, and this would immensely support the work that Akshara has already begun towards making the city gender inclusive.” “The safety-related basic information facilitated by the app would enable government and security officials to delve into more details and take the necessary steps towards alleviating the issues that the conscious citizens have raised”, said Snehal Velkar, Coordinator at Akshara while presenting the safety audit findings.
About 170 young women and men travelled across Mumbai to conduct these audits using ‘My Safetipin’ a mobile based application. This safety audit is based on nine parameters – Lighting, Openness, Visibility, Crowd, Security, Walkpath, Availability of Public Transport, Gender Diversity and Feeling. Launched in 2013, ‘My Safetipin’ has been used in over 30 cities in 10 countries. Speaking on this occasion, Dr Kalpana Viswanath, Co-founder and CEO of Safetipin informed that her organization is as old as the watershed movement that addressed violence against women specifically looking at public spaces in the cities. “The app can be used by NGOs, government officials, transport authorities, and by all the citizens to provide and receive the safety information on their cities.”
Vijaya Rahatkar while speaking at the length about government’s initiatives on installing CCTVs, upgrading forensic labs, infrastructure for police, assured that she would direct the Commissioner of Police, Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai and Ward Councillors to work towards the recommendations of the report. “Women should not only get a feeling of safety while accessing the public places but also that of dignity and entitlement”, she said.
Anju Pandey, Programme Specialist, Ending Violence Against Women, UN Women said, “Women experience the city differently from men, and the fear of sexual violence in public space has far-reaching on their quality of life.” She connected the report launch to the historical moment when gender equality was included for the first time as one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015.
Pradeep Parameswaran, Head of Operations, Uber India & South Asia added, “In the endeavour to make cities safer and give citizens, women in particular, the freedom of mobility, we are glad that effective gathering and sharing of actionable data is yielding desirable outcomes. As hundreds of Ubers on the road in Mumbai helped collect essential data for Safetipin to inform and update the audit, we were able to demonstrate how technology can be harnessed to improve safety.