We live in a society where often time we think before we report any incident of violence. We fear the process of interrogation, blaming and all the social stigma involved in it. This must be the context underlining the fact that almost 60% of incidents of violence goes unreported. A survivor carries many burden, sometimes to a point where their safety, respect and dignity is all at stake. Given the entities survivors have to put at stake, NiDARR- a self-help smartphone application was designed two years ago as a safe reporting platform where a survivor can safely report a violence without the fear of retaliation from the perpetrator and/or fear of being stigmatized.
NiDARR- a self-help tool is an initiation of Ujyalo Foundation to create a safe and secure environment especially for the women and girls with the help of their smartphone. NiDARR opened up in the public domain after winning the NCell App Camp 2015 in the ‘Utility’ category. Since then, it has been able to take a larger leap in order to establish itself as a survivor centered response system giving the survivors the self-agency to keep safe and prevent violence at their personal discretion. Over the years, NiDARR has also worked through programs like Kind Cause and Living in Full Exposure (LIFE) to reach out to the wider audience. In 2016, NiDARR penetrated public spaces and public vehicles encouraging individuals to speak up against violence via NiDARR: Holler Back Campaign. Through the campaign it succeeded in activating 59 city points around the Kathmandu Valley conquering 1217 public places and 1538 public vehicles.
Despite of continuous efforts in reaching out to the wider mass to aware about the usage of NiDARR and enhance understanding of violence, we at Ujyalo felt a dire necessity to reach out to the concerned authorities, organizations with similar working area, and like-minded individuals to establish a formidable system with a focus on survivor centered response system. Thus in an early Monday morning on 18 September, Ujyalo Foundation along with the Australian Embassy jointly organized a stakeholder meeting at Ageno: The Hestia entitling “Conversation and Dialogue on Creating a Survivor Centered Response System to Mitigate a Gender Based Violence” among the stakeholders from different sectors to start a conversation on how individual efforts from each agency working against gender based violence can channelize their efforts together, alongside how everyone can make the most with a system like NiDARR.
27 representatives from diverse backgrounds including government agencies, members of civil societies, international non-governmental agencies, police authority, college representatives, and media houses were presented in the meeting to form a dialogue and conversation around aligning efforts to strengthen the survivor centered response system. In Nepal’s context, a survivor centered response system is a nascent initiative where much work is yet to be done.
The meeting kicked off with an introductory presentation of NiDARR app to make all the stakeholders clear about its scope, its features centered on building agency of the survivors, and its unique and innovative features that allows one to prevent violence and/or make well informed choices regarding an incident of violence. The presentation remained crucial in forming a basic understanding to the participants to be further discussed in the meeting, explaining its prime features as a self-help app and about the integrated system which allows users to overcome a sticky situation, create an emergency contact circles, send an emergency message along with the geographical location in a distressful situation and report violence when needed.
The meeting was chaired by Ms. Kamakshi Rai Yakthumba, Governance and Global Programs Manager from Australian Embassy, and was moderated by Amuda Mishra, Executive Director of Ujyalo Foundation. The conversation from multiple stakeholders unlocked different perspectives on survivor centered response system including suggestion for improvement on the app and way forward for a well-coordinated and collaborative effort towards mitigating gender based violence in our communities were observed. Stakeholders expressed their concerns regarding the use of technology, its possibilities and limitations in mitigating gender based violence given the current situation of infrastructure of the response system in Nepal. Nonetheless, all in one voice believed that sooner or later the need of the survivor centered response system through the use of technology needs to be put in place to overcome the social stigma and perception that leads to over burdening the survivors. The discussion became more contextualized with the given data that Nepal has been recognized as a country with high cellular penetration of 125% with 58% usage of internet through cell phone. As the usage of cellphones and internet is increasing systems like NiDARR can be used more widely.
Representing Nepal Telecommunication Authority from the Government sectors, technical director Anand Raj Khanal while addressing the program, opened the further possibilities of integrating NiDARR app in government initiated programs like Girls in ICT and believed that the usage of such app is crucial in creating safety among the girls. Aligning with the same perspective, Chief District Officer of Kathmandu, Kedarnath Sharma expressed the necessity of raising awareness in people so that individuals have sound knowledge about violence, its impact and how we can stop in creating possible perpetrators. The program concluded that the concerns from the government bodies in supporting and promoting the app from the non-governmental sectors in their programs is indeed illustration of supporting the common mission to mitigate gender based violence.
The dialogue among other stakeholders clearly illustrated the clear picture of the gender based violence in Nepal and the possible solutions through applications like NiDARR. The major way forwards from the sessions were as follows:
- Need of a good coordination between the service provider and government to further strengthen the referral system.
- Need of centralized database system about the facts and information about gender based violence and reporting and monitoring of such information from one major focal point.
- Integration of tools like NiDARR in various systems to provide a responsive and time contextual service.
This NiDARR stakeholders’ meeting became a first of its kind to gather all the stakeholders in a common platform which can change the paradigm of current response system. We strongly believe that through this dialogue, a step has been taken forward to make the society more sensitive towards the survivor and acknowledge the pain, fear and stigma that survivor need to undergo. Thus, through the use of NiDARR, we believe it can change the perception of people annihilating the prevalent dogma of burdening the survivor and can create a survivor centered response system where safety, dignity and respect of the survivor is secured.
NiDARR is also strengthening community by giving the training free of cost for helping organizations how to report gender based violence through NiDARR so that the community can have safe and secure environment. You can follow the link underneath to register your organizations for the activation through filling the form and the response will be back within 3-5 business days.
NiDARR- Be Safe. Feel Empowered.
Some useful link regarding NiDARR and Video on understanding violence.
1. How to use NiDARR- A brief video on how to use NiDARR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvFbNvDw3YM&t=5s
2. What is Violence- A brief video on enhancing understanding about what violence is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9usl_emisA
3. Download Link for NiDARR: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nidarr.nidarrapp
4. NiDARR website: www.nidarr.com
5. NiDARR Zone Activation: https://www.nidarr.com/zone-activation