Asianet Newsable launched the Pink Samaritan, an app focused on uniting Bengalureans to fight crime against women
In the recent past, Bengaluru has witnessed a sharp increase in incidents of crime against women. As the city’s reputation of being a safe haven for a cosmopolitan population stands questioned, the need for the city coming together was much needed.
That is how the initiative Pink Samaritan came to be. Now, Asianet Newsable supported by Facebook and the Namma Bengaluru Foundation, aims to encourage this coming together – of citizens towards the cause of protecting women. The Pink Samaritan app uses technology and community ecosystems to unite citizens under the singular agenda around women’s safety.
Envisaged as a social transformation campaign focused on creating a citizen-led transformation that supplements existing law enforcement systems, the app is a combination of the following attributes:
- Awareness via content and maps for locations on the closest Police Station, Hospital and Pharmacy
- Action via the options to trigger an automatic call to a police helpline and eventually to additionally summon the Pink Samaritans via a GPS tracker
- Access via an e-commerce engagement to buy women’s safety products courtesy urdoorstep.com
- Admission via a sign-up process for men and women volunteers who agree to be available for a woman in need.
The app is being released in a phased manner. Here’s how the program will proceed
Phase 1 of the app – takes sign-ons from men and women who volunteer to be Pink Samaritans. Post a verification process the volunteers are counted in as Pink Samaritans.
Phase 2 will open the feature in the app where only women can send an SOS for Help, where the Pink Samaritans in the vicinity via a GPS tracker are led to the woman who triggered the request for help. The launch version is available on Google Play Store while the iOS version will be launched shortly.
Subsequent updates will include a host of newer features including red-flagging of unsafe zones, sign up of safe zones, collaborations with NGOs working in the space of women’s safety, Resident Welfare Associations and much more.
Also in the anvil is a clear charter of Standard Operating Procedures for the Pink Samaritans through continuous engagement and training, and a process for onboarding and off-boarding Pink Samaritans.
Anoop N, Chief Operating Officer, Asianet News Media and Entertainment lauding the initiative, added: “At its best, the app is a platform that supports the cause of safety, whilst the truest manifestation of safety evolves when people within the community take it on themselves to be there for a woman in danger. ‘Pink Samaritan’ is therefore envisaged as an idea for social change – the app being an enabler. It works with multiple stakeholders including law enforcement and community groups to support this need of the hour.”
After its digital kick-off on March 8th International Women’s Day – the program had the widespread endorsement of celebrities including Sandalwood star Kiccha Sudeep, musician Raghu Dixit and more.
On March 15, the event was an intensive afternoon that included: A session by Lakshmi Pratury, Founder & CEO INK. Her talk on “It takes a village” was one of the highlights of the event. Further “Back to basics – Bonding Communities in a world of Technology and Connectivity”- a panel discussion on the topic by Meena Ganesh - MD & CEO Portea Medical, Ritesh Mehta - Head, Economic Growth Initiatives Facebook, Hema Ravichander- Strategic HR Advisor, Tiger Ashok Kumar - Ex ACP, Sridhar Pabisetty – CEO Namma Bengaluru Foundation and Prof.Sahana Das – Head Dept of Communication Studies, Mount Carmel College lent further gravity to the cause.
Facebook, in partnership with Centre for Social Research, will also be delivering a series of trainings to the Pink Samaritans to promote gender sensitive online spaces. Facebook has been committed to the cause of creating safer online spaces through its safety programs in India and this initiative is an extension to those efforts.
Ritesh Mehta, Head of Economic Growth Initiatives, India and South Asia - Facebook said “Safety is our number one priority and something we deeply care about. There are extensive controls in place and everyone gets tools and resources to help control their online experience. We collaborate regularly with safety advocates, experts and support initiatives like Pink Samaritan because we want our community to have the latest, most relevant information when it comes to online safety.”
Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO Namma Bengaluru Foundation, spoke on the Pink Samaritan saying: “Namma Bengaluru Foundation is delighted to support the Pink Samaritan program. It aligns with an immediate necessity, of ensuring that we maintain that cornerstone of civility - of becoming a city that women find safe. It is heartening to see how the media becomes a critical catalyst for social change.”
Summing up the charter, Indusekhar Chandrasekhar, who also leads Brand Marketing for Asianet News Media and Entertainment said: “The answer to every challenge in a community lies within. Pink Samaritan is an initiative focused in finding the solutions that already exist with our communities. As the world embraces back-to-basics across health, lifestyle and spirituality – the element of a back to basics on community bonding remains unleveraged. The Pink Samaritan is an expression of how technology can support seismic change when a community can come together.”
The Pink Samaritan goes pan India into the months ahead.