Power to the People

In this third edition of our focus on the four winners of SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme, who were each awarded S$10,000 in funding to kick start or expand their ventures, we look at Social Cops.

(from left to right) Prukalpa Sankar and Varun Banka of Social Cops with Jean Tan, Executive Director of SIF.

Who: Prukalpa Sankar, 22; Varun Banka, 21 and Jahagirdar Kavya Narayan, 21 (all from India)

The problem: Municipal issues that go unchecked in India such as uncleared garbage, potholes, messy roads and unlighted streets that encourage crime at night.

Their solution: To create an open web and mobile platform that brings together citizens, city councils, NGOs and corporate outfits to solve these issues. In the process, individual problems find solutions through the community. Revenue is generated from public agencies and corporations in spheres including civic duties, public health and women's safety.

A campaign to fix broken streetlights, made possible by the mobile platform created by Social Cops

On the ground: They have launched operations full-time since June 2013 and have been generating revenue since September 2013. The social enterprise has won accolades such as the World Youth Summit Award and grants from Microsoft and IBM.

What they’re doing with funds: Financing manpower to deliver projects to clients.

Why they are doing this, in their own words:

“Social Cops started when we were in our final year of university in Singapore in 2012. Three people die every hour in India alone due to accidents caused by bad roads. [According to studies] 95% of women feel unsafe in India. How do we create community solutions to solve problems? As engineers, we saw ways that we could use the power of crowd sourcing and technology to solve community issues.”

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