ByÂ Ayesha Vemuri:
Safetipin, a new mobile app that crowd-sources and maps information about safety in neighbourhood and cities was launched on 13th November. Nandita Das, actor and activist, who was in town for the launch, said that “We cannot expect change unless we are willing to be part of it. And finally we have an opportunity with Safetipin.” Speaking at the launch, co-founder Ashish Basu said: “Safetipin gives people a way to engage with their neighbourhood and communities around important issues. People can interact on safety and infrastructure, comment on posts and pictures”.
The information that Safetipin gathers from its users can greatly help in strengthening advocacy about women’s and community safety. Expanding on this, co-founder Kalpana Viswanath said: “We aim to strengthen the work done on safety and mapping by NGOs and CBOs by providing them with a tool that can help them gather data and analyse public safety.”
Safetipin is now available to Android and iPhone users.
Safetipin was built on the premise that safety is a natural consequence when neighbourhoods and communities work together to bring about change. The app was envisioned as a way to build safer cities through neighbourhood and community involvement
The app is based on global research on safety. Safetipin allows users to record, with just a click, whether they feel safe or unsafe in a public space and why. It then provides a map with user-generated data, which shows areas of the city that are unsafe (in red), moderately safe (orange) or safe (green). Users can also record instances of harassment and security hazards, including broken lights, open sewers or overflowing garbage. These reports can be shared with neighbourhood associations, NGOs and public service providers.
Further Safetipin allows users to define their ‘circles of interest’; which could be their neighbourhood, or work place or any other area. They can then view (and add to) all information within these circles, and comment on them. Information can be about how people feel about their neighbourhood, safety audits, hazards or instances of harassment. Importantly, users can upload and read useful information such as the closest 24-hour pharmacy or police post to navigate the city safely.
For more information, please visit the website (www.safetipin.com).