Friday, 27 September 2013

Now, you can help map unsafe zones for women


Mumbai: Citizens can now play an active role in making Mumbai safe by contributing to an online initiative that will map unsafe zones and incidents of sexual harassment. The project—HarassMap-Mumbai —encourages victims of sexual harassment to report their experience on a real-time website (see box). 
    Launched by women resource centre Akshara on Thursday, the online map allows women who report an incident to maintain their anonymity if they wish. Victims can offer specifics about the type of harassment they suffered, the place where the incident occurred and the profile of their harasser. It also urges Mumbaikars to log in and report areas where they feel unsafe, be it due to the lack of adequate street lighting or the absence of police patrolling. The areas show up as coloured dots on a map reflecting the heightened 
risk quotient of an area. 
    “It would help us get a true picture of how the city treats its women,” said actor Rahul Bose. “This site will be listening to survivors as well as holding up a mirror to men.” 
“We will pursue the police to take action to make public spaces safer,” said Nandita Gandhi of Akshara. 
“If we find that a woman who logs in needs help, we will alert the police,” said an Akshara spokesperson. 

HarassMap-Mumbai is a platform for citizens to take steps to make the city safe

WHAT YOU CAN DO Report an experience of harassment, flag off unsafe spots or upload photos 
HOW TO REPORTR| By filling a form on on n| By sending a message to 9920103103 1| By using the the Ushahidi app for iPhone/Android 

WHAT THE APP PROVIDES Real-time picture of violence against women in Mumbai 
Information about support services for survivors like helplines & legal aid services 

HOW THIS WILL HELP Women resource centre Akshara will work with the police to mitigate the incidents 
THE CHALLENGES Reach is limited to those who are techsavvy and know English

Source:::: The Times of India, 27-09-2013, p.07,

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