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Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Ritesh Malik, Indian Police Other Authorities Come Together To Back A Unique Cyber Safety Initiative

In an innovative use of AI technology, the initiative runs country's only private national multilingual chat helpline for cyber safety. This helpline allows users to get information anonymously, as well as trigger SOS in a crisis situation.

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Vijay Shekhar Sharma (founder & CEO of Paytm), Ritesh Malik (founder- Innov8), the Indian police and various other influencers have come together to support India’s largest social impact initiative against cyber harassment, named as ‘Akancha Against Harassment’.

In an innovative use of AI technology, the initiative runs country's only private national multilingual chat helpline for cyber safety. This helpline allows users to get information anonymously, as well as trigger SOS in a crisis situation.

The chat helpline was originally launched only in English in January 2018 and since then has successfully intervened in more than 167 trauma cases.

The initiative focuses on educating the society about prevention of cyber harassment and empowering internet users by providing them right information on laws and rights. It also bridges the gap between the authorities and victims by securing the support of authorities across states. The initiative is supported by various educationists, lawyers, law makers, political leaders and entrepreneur community.

Akancha Srivastava, Founder - Akancha Against Harassment said, “We are educating people on mindful use of technology as a preventive measure and are providing remedial measures to the victims by getting their voices heard at the right platforms. We have reached over 80+ million people in the country, and with the launch of Hindi helpline, we hope to reach more than 150 million people in 2019.”

Speaking on his support for the initiative, Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Founder & CEO- Paytm) has said, “Social change is our collective responsibility. ‘Akancha Against Harassment' has done considerable work towards Cyber Safety education and gathered a lot of support from authorities in a short span of time. She has demonstrated that using technology, education and support of civic authorities in the right manner can achieve positive change. It has my support and I am happy to be a part of a movement.”

Inspector General of Police, Navniet Sekera (Uttar Pradesh) said, “Akancha is doing a superb job in educating and empowering the women and girl children of this country on their safety. I have witnessed the positive impact of her workshops on children, teachers, principals and even Police officers! Her courage and determination are admirable. She is continuously using technology for the cause, which is simply brilliant! Through her podcasts and the helpline we also get to bridge with people from across the country. A positive constructive relationship with the Police is therefore, being built. She has mine and the entire police force’s unflinching support for this noble cause”.

Ritesh Malik, Founder of Innov8 states, “With technology penetration at its nascent peak, India is susceptible to cyber harassment like no other country in the world. We don’t realize but 24 per cent of all the harassment in the country is online and no one was looking at this fundamental challenge. When I met Akancha Ma’am, I was amazed to see her grit to fight this for the entire country. The way she’s hustled her way out to protect the netizens our country is inspiring. Super thrilled to be a part of the Foundation that makes our country secure.”

Akancha Against Harassment is uniquely utilizing technology for far-reaching social impact. The initiative’s weekly podcast recently completed 84 episodes with over 10 + Million listen-ins/views. The guests include high ranking IPS officers, IAS officers, lawyers, educators, mental health experts and others who can address the need for awareness as well as addressal of cyber abuse complaints.

Till date Akancha Srivastava has conducted 47 workshops across 19 cities, reaching out to more than 40000 participants personally.


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