With an aim to digitize the end-to-end management of individual cases, Sharanjit and his team share a never-before experience of working on a cherished project with Enfold- an NGO committed to the cause of preventing child sexual abuse.
Enfold Proactive Health Trust, a Bengaluru-based NGO, is committed to the cause of preventing child sexual abuse, creating safe spaces for children, and assisting children who have faced sexual violence through their journeys within the criminal justice system. “I can still recall my first-ever conversation with their team very clearly as my immediate reaction was - how can I help?” shares Sharanjit Singh, AVP, Enterprise Commercial Campaign and Channel Operations. “Listening to the Enfold team share the things they see and hear on a daily basis shook us deeply. It just doesn’t leave you- the horrors you hear of children and abuse, along with stories of strength, resilience and positivity,” he adds.
Over the years, Enfold has worked with countless families, seeking justice even as they combat the trauma. Many parents struggle to comprehend the magnitude of the situation and the complex legal path. “During our conversations, we learnt that this offence not only cuts across gender and socioeconomic classes but is often perpetrated by a known, and sometimes, even trusted adult. We simply had to help!” he says.
An area of focus is on supporting children and their parents/guardians taking judicial recourse following an incident of sexual abuse of a child. Every case file necessitates a lot of information and document collection, and timeframes within which some actions and processes have to be completed. Keeping track of these is a challenge, as team members are involved with fieldwork as well. The team at Enfold was using MS Excel and Google Sheets to record the information. There was no centralised database. How data was collected and stored was not standardised and dependent on the people handling each case. This triggered the challenges of misplaced files, missing information and privacy concerns. “It was clear that a solution must involve streamlining information collection and storage, and ultimately digitizing the entire process end-to-end. The need for reports and data to assist research and influence advocacy and policy was also expressed by Enfold.”
From Indegene, Sharanjit along with his team of developers, Anil and Jaisriram, took on the task of making this happen. The plan was to build a feasible tech-based solution to streamline the overall process. It was apparent (as is often with non-profit organizations) that Enfold was pressed for resources, including time and people. “At our end, we were keen to bring more to the table than just funds to support them,” recalls Anil. “We wanted to help free up the bandwidth, and therefore, allow them to dedicate more time to their core area of work i.e., support and assist to defend children who were victims of sexual abuse,” he adds.
Visuals from the Enfold Platform
Understandably, streamlining and digitizing all of this was not an easy task! The team had to understand the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act which described the offences, punishments, procedures, provisions and timeframes for cases of sexual violence against children. Additionally, they also had to understand how Enfold was operating, and bear in mind that the solution created was easy to use for them.
“Over many weeks, we built the Enfold platform, which is now being tested and used by their teams,” shares Jaisriram. Each team member is assigned a role that determines what they can access. Information collection has been simplified with effective UI and all mandatory information is ensured in the system. To further simplify the process and allow ease of tracking and monitoring, individual case documents are categorised as Police Investigation, Medical Investigation, Judicial Investigation, Protection, and Media. There is an option provided to raise alerts along with an additional report generation feature to aid conversations and discussions. “All this provides support to the activity manager with hassle-free management of their daily tasks and, more importantly, saves on precious time,” he adds.
“Working on this project has been very fulfilling for us because this project has been special,” concludes Sharanjit.