Inclusion & Empowerment, Winners 2016
| diversity | gender | justice | human rights |


ORGANISATION: Uttar Pradesh Police Mahila Samman Prakoshth

URL:      COUNTRY: India       LANGUAGE: English and Hindi


A Web-portal for reporting crime against women               

Vikalp is an online portal that exclusively caters to the need of reporting crime against women. It has been developed for women or people who on behalf of women wish to file a complaint from anywhere in the state of Uttar Pradesh, without the need to physically visit a police station.

The portal leverages ICT for the security of women in an era when digital literacy and digital inclusion of women is driving change but the dignity of and respect for more than 110 million women is seriously compromised under the culture of silence and victim blaming in the largely patriarchal society.

A first-of-its-kind portal in the country, Vikalp provides an alternate, easy, accessible, protected, direct and highly user-friendly interface between the local police and the women of the state. It provides women with a platform at the touch of a tap and encourages them to speak up.

Under Vikalp, as soon as a complaint is lodged, the complainant receives a digital acknowledgement via SMS along with a unique complaint ID to track the progress of the case. Simultaneously, an SMS is generated for the supervisory officers of the district police concerned and the UP Police Mahila Samman Prakoshth (MSP). The nodal officer of the corresponding district has the responsibility to ensure that the complaint receives a fast and efficient police response. MSP, meanwhile, closely monitors each case, analyses the nature of the complaints and guides the district police regarding actions they should take. At all times, the identity of the complainant is kept confidential; and a case cannot be called ‘closed’ until the complainant expresses satisfaction with the action taken by the local police. Further, every complainant has the option to submit a feedback or rate the police action, thereby ensuring transparency and accountability in the system.

Demographics based on the complaints received so far indicate that 48 per cent of the users are from rural areas, 85 per cent of the complaints have been filed by women themselves, and 98 per cent complaints have received police response.

Its performance and analytics reveal that Vikalp has proved to be a highly sustainable initiative, with sound systems for monitoring and reviewing. Vikalp has the capacity to seamlessly integrate with several complementary services and ensure strengthened security for women. Since sexual harassment in public spaces is unfortunately a widespread reality, Vikalp can be used as a hotspot indicator to map places of public nuisance. The portal can also act as an anti-human trafficking tool that allows users to upload protected information and photos to be accessed and acted up by the 25 Anti-Human Trafficking Units of the state.

Through its ICT and human interventions to empower the “aadhi aabaadhi” (half the population), Vikalp has become an ideal example for smart policing.

Special Mentions, 2016:

1. Sukarmi

ORGANISATION: Rooster Logic Pvt. Ltd     URL:

COUNTRY: Nepal     LANGUAGE: English & Nepali   EMAIL:

Empowering adolescent girls through a mobile based application

Adolescence is a fragile period, which every human being passes through. It’s also a phase where youngsters face several situations that alter their perception of the world. One goes through academic pressure, parental pressure, peer pressure, romantic relationships and many more.

Sukarmi is a programme that aims to provide adolescent girls with opportunities in ‘doing and learning’. The programme focuses on empowering adolescent girls in two ways: involving them as a member of the enumerator team and engaging them in personality development and social network development initiatives.

The enumeration team allows the girls to be become financially sound by way of carrying out mobile-based surveys and data collection, for which they are remunerated. The personality development project, meanwhile, provides the girls with a platform to attend sessions and educate themselves on public speaking, interpersonal skills, appearance and how to get by with anything. Access to social media, on the other hand, gives them an opportunity to be a part of events and activities which are organised by groups like NEHUB, FOSS Nepal and others.

Sukarmi aims to engage with at least 1,000 adolescent girls from all over Nepal and provide them with better opportunities to be self-sufficient, develop skills and build social and professional relationship for future.

To achieve this task, the programme leverages Rooster Logic’s flagship product ‘REMO’, a mobile-based application to conduct surveys and collect data. REMO is both useful for conducting research (with compatibility with Strata and SPSS) and powerful for monitoring work. The sophisticated system uses a mobile device to conveniently capture data, photographs and GPS location; and seamlessly integrate them in real time to produce exploratory analytics on the go. This information gathered can then be viewed by a central Web console that provides easy access to all the reports.

Since 2013, REMO has been deployed in all 75 districts and 240 constituencies of Nepal; and is trusted by over 30 organisations who find REMO affordable, quick and user friendly to carry out frequently research and monitoring tasks.

2. Indus Reader

ORGANISATION: Indus OS + IIT Madras + TDIL (Consortium)

URL:     COUNTRY: India       LANGUAGE: English & 6 Indian languages


Empowering People through Text to Speech Technology

Indus OS technology team has developed the world’s first regional operating system that caters to native language users. Indus Reader is the OS-integrated, offline, text-to-speech feature of Indus OS, India’s second most popular operating system by market share.

The feature is available in English and six Indian languages — Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. Developed by IIT Chennai in collaboration with the Government of India’s MeiTY (TDIL) with no financial implication, Indus Reader aims to empower the non-English speaking, illiterate and visually-challenged populations of India to that they can unleash the true power of a smartphone in their preferred language.

Unlike other text-to-speech options available for users in other parts of the world, Indus Reader neither requires the user to download any language pack nor does it require users to have an active Internet connection to use the technology. Initially, when the solution was developed on the cloud, the solution required 3 GB of storage per language. In its present version, when it is available offline on mobile, the storage has been reduced to about 4 MB per language.

There is a simple three-touch process to use the Indus Reader feature on an Indus OS-powered device. All a user has to do is (a) select the text to be translated and heard, (b) press the ‘Copy’ Icon, and (c) listen to the copied text in the preferred choice of regional language. This feature works across all major applications allowed on an Indus OS device, including browser, Gmail, text messaging and WhatsApp.

The feature is currently being used on 56,000 Indus OS Version 2.0 devices in India and Bangladesh. A tailor-made feature for non-English speaking populations in the emerging markets, Indus Reader sees a potential reach of 1.12 billion non-English speaking people in India alone. It now plans to expand business to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Indonesia.