ElsaMarie D’silva

Founder, Red Dot Foundation – Inspiration Award

ElsaMarie DSilva the recipient of the Inspiration Award, left a successful career in the aviation sector where she was Vice President Network Planning at Kingfisher Airlines and went on to became the founder and CEO of the Red Dot Foundation, a United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) accredited non-profit Mumbai–based organization that works to end violence against women. Here she co-founded Safecity, an anonymous reporting platform that uses crowdsourcing to track reports of sexual violence and harassment in public spaces and maps this data to show unsafe areas in cities.. Since launching Safecity in 2012, Ms. D’Silva has overseen the platform’s rise to become the largest crowd map on this topic in India.

Ms. D’Silva drew upon her experience with Safecity to explore how to expand the reach of the application to other countries around the world.  She drafted a handbook concerning the power of digital technology to address gender-based violence worldwide. Amongst her other accomplishments, she is also the Curator for #TEDxVersova under whose banner she has hosted TEDxVersovaWomen, TEDxVersovaSalons, and TEDxVersova and has received numerous awards including being listed as one of the BadAss Women of 2020 by SheThePeople.

For her pioneering work in addressing gender-based violence, Ms. D’Silva received the 2013 Digital Women in Social Impact Award, the 2015 Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Dusan Stojanovic, the Government of India’s 2016 #WomenTransformingIndia award, and Vital Voices’ 2017 Global Leadership Award.  In 2015, she was listed as one of BBC Hindi’s Top 100 Inspirational and Influential Women.