Making Cities Humane – ‘Safe City’ Project
The Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS-2015) defined the parameters which brands a city as an efficient one.The list includes citizens’ exercised civic sense (observing public place hygiene and certain code of conduct), decentralized system of development planning by the government, utilization of funds for public infrastructure and services, presence of human resources at the level of government administration, high consumption of information technology (telecom, internet, digitization of government services) by the citizens, provision of steady and consistent power supply, democracy in political participation and existence of functional grievance redressal system.Although the objective of the aforementioned survey holistically covers all the parameters that a city should embody; there is a need to look at the citizens’ quality of life which is intrinsic to their feeling of safety, security and well-being. A good measure of which would be testimony of the same by the vulnerable segment of society, i.e. women, children, the elderly and those animals which live in public places. On that account, there would be a unanimous consent that there is a massive room for improvement.
There are existing mechanisms to ensure that ASICS benchmarks are met with. However, there can be no physical system that warrants safety, security and well-being of the citizens, given the fact that it depends on an individual’s persistent effort at self-improvement leading to sublime societal interactions. Identifying capacity building and sensitization as tools to ensure that cities are humane; Centre for Social Research (CSR) in affiliation with Hanns-Seidel Foundation (HSF) launched an intervention, “Safe City is a Smart City’. Under the programme, CSR has undertaken gender sensitization trainings for those who work in the police force and represent the country’s legal faculty. Police force are the law enforcers and protectors, from whom the citizens derive their sense of security and well-being. The expected outcome of ‘Safe City is a Smart City’ programme is to create sensitized police cadres who can provide protection and support to the female citizens. In order to see through successful implementation of the programme, CSR and HSF are not only covering the on-duty police force but also those who are in the academic wing and preparing themselves to be future police officers. As part of the gender sensitization trainings, the aforementioned organizations would be culling out global best practices and including cyber security component for optimum results.
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