Runner-up: Akshara Centre (India)
Akshara Centre, a Women's Resource Centre based in Mumbai, India, has developed a long-term strategy for the city and the safety of its 5.7 million women citizens. Their framework included data, analysis and prevention of harassment by the police and communities. Data generation about safety in public spaces was undertaken in collaboration with Hindustan Times, a leading English daily and the data was shared with 8 lac readers for over a fortnight. This revealed where, who and how women experience sexual harassment on the streets and in public transport.
For prevention, they focused on action by the police. Vast media coverage of an incident of molestation and persistent campaigning by Akshara led to the setting up of a police Emergency Helpline dedicated to crimes against women, children and senior citizens.
Akshara has partnered with Mumbai Police for the last 5 years to create and maintain systems of categorization, documentation, protocols and training of police personnel, and the promotion of the helpline. There had been 1,97,819 calls to the helpline between February 2008 and March 2013.
In September 2013, Akshara launched Harassmap, a community-driven, socio-techno platform for women and men to report experiences and unsafe spaces.
The Akshara Team