Akshara Centre Launches an Initiative towards Safety Audit for Women in the City

Respected Dignitaries at the Launch of Safety Audit Manual

New Delhi (India), May 11: In an event hosted and organized by Maharashtra Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM) under the auspicious occasion of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and Dr. Babashaeb Ambedkar Birth Anniversary, A Women Safety Walk Marathi Manual and an animated video of Women’s Safety Walk was released and launched by Akshara Centre in the presence of Hon’ble Minister Madam, Yashomati Thakur, Mumbai Mayor Madam, Kishori Tai Pednekar, MAVIM Chairperson Madam, Jyoti Tai Thakare, MAVIM Managing Director Madam, Ms. Shraddhaa Joshi.

In support of the initiative, Hon’ble Minister Women and Child Development Department Madam Yashomati Thakur very fondly expressed that “We want women of the city to be strong, safe, educated, and financially independent just like Savitri Bai Phule. But while focusing on that we must also think about creating more Jyoti Raophule’s in the society.  This process must begin right from childhood, just like parents teach girls what to do and what not to do, they must also teach boys what NOT to do! Only then there will be more Jyoti Rao’s in the society who will ensure a safe environment for many more women like Savitri Bai’s.”

Mumbai Mayor, Kishori Pednekar and MAVIM Chairperson Madam Jyoti Thakare too congratulated MAVIM and Akshara to take this initiative ahead.

In the larger conversation on Women Safety in association with MAVIM, Akshara Centre brought to light the need for gender inclusion and safety of women and girls from fear of violence free access to mobility.

Dr. Nandita Shah, Co-Founder Akshara Centre expressed that, “on this auspicious day we are happy to launch the Marathi Women’s Safety Walk Manual and the animated video on women’s safety walk. We consider this as a campaign for Women’s Safety in Public Places. Today, we are hopeful that CMRC Managers and Sayogini’s of MAVIM who got trained as trainers will take the process ahead and this Women’s Safety Walk Manual will come handy for the effective implementation of women’s safety walks to be undertaken.”

Over the last few years, Akshara Centre has worked tirelessly to empower women with their basic rights by providing solutions and initiatives that help them feel safe and secure. As a part of this initiative, Akshara has audited areas where women generally spend time or access despite feeling unsafe like college corridors, subways, railway stations, parks, footpaths, public toilets and initiated safety measures like cctv cameras, better lighting, security guards amongst many others.

After speaking to women across demographics and age group the checklist is divided into physical features, social features and usage for the sake of convenience of analyzing the data. The manual gives insights into how an audit can be done, what measures can be taken by auditors in and around their neighborhood to classify it as safe for women.

Dr. Shah further expressed that, it is a great collaboration with MAVIM and its thousands of saving and credit groups who have come together to be a ‘women’s safety auditors’. This campaign is driven with the motto of reaching women far and wide and encouraging them to access facilities without any restrictions or reservations.”

The video for Safety Audit is available under the title Youth for a Safer City as a tool for safety walks that allows you to assess safety concerns in any public space and has effectively been used across many cities to create safe and inclusive cities.