Summer Student's Safrzone App Speaks up for Safety of Women and Girls

Sartaj and his team won an award for Engineering Excellence with a $5,000 cash prize and a fully sponsored trip to the Global Citizens’ Festival in New York.

July 28, 2015

By Kayla White-Hightower

An undergraduate student at Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India, and currently a summer student working for ESnet at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sartaj Singh Baveja and his team developed an android app—Safrzone—while participating in the recent CHIMEHACK2 “hackathon” event in San Francisco.

A two-day hackathon held at Twitter’s San Franciso headquarters, CHIMEHACK2 is sponsored by Chime for Change, a global campaign to raise funds and awareness for girls and women around the world.

"Being my first hackathon, I was looking forward to code and develop a technical solution to promote safety for girls and women across developing countries like India, students across campus, and women facing issues such as domestic violence," says Sartaj, who along with three others ended up building an android application; Safrzone , which aims at making reporting of women related incidents significantly easier. "We wanted to close the loop with relevant stakeholders like local businesses, restaurants, and city governments raising awareness regarding reported incidents in an area.”

Everyone Has a Responsibility to Speak up for Safety

An example of the application #Safrzone

When it comes to women's safety, it’s not just the responsibility of women. It is everyone’s responsibility to take part and come together to take action: bystanders, victims, communities, city governments. “As per the stats of 2011, more than 90 percent, around 200,000 incident related to attacks on went unreported in a developing country like India” says Sartaj. “We wanted to provide a ‘safe zone’ for women; this is where the idea of Safrzone originated.”

Anyone can use this application to report any women-related incident that one witnesses— whether it is the girl herself or a bystander. One way to use the app is by tweeting the type of incident and where it happened with “#safrzone,” or by posting it on Facebook. By using this application, you can report an incident at any time, and people can search and be made aware of these incidents if they are visiting a new city or area.   

The overall impact this application can have will result in local businesses (restaurants, clubs, etc.) and city governments having immediate information so they can take relevant action if they see that a particular area has a history of women-related incidents like violence and sexual assault. For example, installing new lights if a particular area is not well lit.  

With this application, everyone has a chance to take part and “SPEAK UP FOR SAFETY.”  »Learn more.