Whypoll is Indiaï¿½s first open government platform. It has a simple aim ï¿½ take gaps in governance and fill it with effective technology that ordinary people can use for the lowest possible cost.
The on-ground mobilization and activism-led not-for-profit Whypoll Trust and its technology creation arm, the Peoples Infotainment Company, work to create technology that is given away free or at the lowest possible cost and which fills a particular social need.
In the last two years, we have worked with the UN Millennium Goals Campaign and had a wide range of top-ranking politicians, economists, scholars, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs and activists have actively supported Whypollï¿½s work.
Our work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, Reuters, and almost all top Indian media organizations from The Times of India, Hindustan Times, the India Today Group and NDTV.
Why no Indian woman in safe
In the last 40 years, rape cases in India have gone UP by a shocking 800 percent. In the Indian capital New Delhi, with one of the most modern tube intra-city railway networks in the world, there is still an assault of a woman every minute, every second scores of others are harassed.
One of the biggest problems of the crimes against women in India is widespread under reporting which happens because people, especially women, just donï¿½t feel confident enough to go to the police. The police are often perpetrators of more harassment than immediate relief providers.
A large number of cases of such harassment and violence go unreported due to the social stigma attached to being raped or molested and also due to fear of further harassment in the hands of lower levels cops. Reporting a case to police is often another form of social harassment faced by victims. Once raped, it is close to impossible for a family to get their member married into a family. There have been shocking instances where victims have been asked to marry their violators!
This is why Whypoll has worked to create Indiaï¿½s first integrated womenï¿½s safety platform that works on three different layers.
Our constantly monitored crowd sourced research ensures that our UNSAFE MAPs of different cities is always update for the use of citizens and tourists.
For any incident of harassment, people can report on the site anonymously or with their details, as they choose, and reports of these incidents are compiled and reflected on the map and sent to police.
Our harassment reporting mobile application ensures that an immediate SOS to family and friends.
The campaign has already started and has been widely reported with stories everywhere from the New York Times to The Times of India and supported by thousands of people in the Indian capital New Delhi where it has been launched.
Now we need funds to take it across India to 9 more troubled cities where women face the gravest challenges to their personal liberty and security in public areas. We want to expand the campaign ï¿½ the map, the unsafe surveys, the use of the harassment reporting portal and the app to a total of 10 Indian cities where women face maximum security challenges.
On our list, apart from New Delhi, are Mumbai where two young men were recently brutally murdered by goons when they tried to stop eve-teasing, Bangalore, where women dancing and having a drink in a pub have been attacked by goons, to northern cities and satellite towns like Lucknow, Allahabad, Bhopal, to eastern India in Kolkata (Calcutta) and down south in Chennai, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram.
This will ensure that the top 10 most violent cities and towns against women will be mapped for safety and a public service technology to fighting against this crime. The funds will be used to scale up our endeavours started in the capital of India to across the vast country to a total of 10 places where women need easy to access, technology driven tools to fight back against this menace.
At the moment, there is a sense of helplessness about this crime ï¿½ and we believe that can and must change. We must Fight Back!
What We Need & What You Get
We need a total of $50,000 to spread this to a total of 10 cities. For each city, we will hire on-ground researchers who will survey across the chosen city for a period of at least 45 days to create a unique UNSAFE areas in that city MAP which will become the base on which the campaign will be conducted in that city.
The money will be spend in paying researchers and creating the database for each map in each city and also to run a campaign to make people aware of the grave issue of violence against women in public spaces.
Each city will have its own micro site which will have a map and a reporting portal and the link to download an SOS mobile application. The money will also be spent in building microsites for each city that we target.
Our goals are clear ï¿½ we want to create citizen driven tools which are free to use or extremely low cost to fight harassment against women in public spaces. And we have demonstrated on www.whypoll.org that the idea is not only vital on paper but also can be implemented successfully on the ground. We have spent our own money and resources in creating and implementing this campaign, including the soon-to-be launched app, in New Delhi, showcasing that it is a much needed campaign with wide support among citizens.
Our strength lies in the fact that not only do we have a powerful idea but we have also showcased that it works and there is already something significant ï¿½ that has been reported on by some of the biggest news organizations around the world ï¿½ that exists on the ground.
Now we need funds to spread the campaign across India to thousands of more women who desperately need this kind of tools to fight harassment.
Our goal is to reach a total of 10 cities and every dollar given to us will enable us to go a little further in that goal. If we raise less, we will be able to reach less than 10 number of cities but the campaign will still go on in various cities and towns, but with less funds we will not be able to reach 10 cities and towns.
Please note that not a single dollar from your contributions will go as payment to the owners of the project as salary or remuneration. The creators of the project do not take a cent as salary or remuneration and every dollar given will be used in the project.
For your generosity, we will send you, depending on contribution specially commissioned prints of photos of images of India, beautiful drawings, sketches, charcoals, and hand painted, authentic Indian water colour paintings of various sizes ï¿½ from postcard size to canvas size, along with hand written thank you notes. Please note that all art work is donated to us by artists who believe in our cause and no money is spent in specially procuring the art.
Other Ways You Can Help
We would also really appreciate opportunities to cross link similar sites with Whypoll (www.whypoll.org) which would cross pollinate the sites and spread the word about the campaign.
Whypoll.Org in Media