Young Indians tackle child abuse in Bengaluru

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Abuse is unacceptable and when it comes to child abuse, there needs to be a zero tolerance policy. In his book, Six Pillars of Self Esteem, Nathaniel Branden writes, “The greater a child’s terror, and the earlier it is experienced, the harder it becomes to develop a strong and healthy sense of self.” Child abuse is all around us.  Whether it is physical, mental or emotional, trauma leaves scars in a child’s mind for many years. The YI Bengaluru Chapter decided to work with youth to tackle this problem head-on and uproot this evil in society.

Why is addressing Child abuse so crucial?

As per The National Crime Records Bureau, a child in India is sexually abused every fifteen minutes. For a country with high cultural values, this scourge is creating a high distress level for children and needs to be eradicated. It was time for action, which is why a workshop was organized in Karnataka, for 1336 teachers, to tackle, talk and teach them about child abuse.

Why the need to educate the teachers?

Schools are building blocks for children. It is the first step where children learn, develop and prepare to face the world. Teachers shape a child’s thinking, moulding them to develop ideas and plan their future. This is why they play a crucial role in educating children on battling child abuse. It is necessary for teachers to be observant about children’s behavioral patterns, gauge emotional changes and map their intellectual growth. If teachers show a lax attitude, it can hamper the growth of children and adversely affect them in the future.

A record-breaking workshop against child abuse

Young Indians Bengaluru, a vital organ of CII, comprises of professionals and entrepreneurs who volunteer to undertake social projects for the betterment of the society. The organization tied up with Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan to conduct the world’s largest “Children Safeguarding Training.” The workshop, held at a mango auction house in Srinivasapura, Kolar, was attended by 1336 teachers. The aim was to highlight matters concerning child abuse and emphasize warning signs that should not be neglected. The workshop was attended by experts like Harish Bhuvan, founder, and facilitator of Compassionate Clowns, an NGO, and Ashwini NV, the Director of Muktha Foundation, among others.

Image: BrainFeed

Key tips to detect abuse

Teachers need to be vigilant about the following symptoms displayed by children:

  • Engaging with toys or objects in an inappropriate manner
  • Not opening up and becoming reclusive
  • The trouble with sleep and frequent nightmares
  • Writing or drawing content with a sexual connotation
  • Vacillating between getting attached or remaining totally detached
  • Repulsed by themselves or uncomfortable with their own body
  • Change in eating habits, especially issues with swallowing
  • Complete shock if anyone misbehaves with them.

Bringing about change

Ajith George, Co-Chair, Young Indians Bengaluru, said, “The trained teachers can ensure the children in Srinivasapura are educated on how to safeguard themselves.” The workshop provided valuable inputs on concepts of body boundary, safe-unsafe touch, safety network. Teachers and facilitators discussed the POSCO (protection of children from sexual offenses) Act, highlighting techniques to combat abuse. Lalitha Chandrashekar, Joint Director, SSA, Karnataka said, “The government of Karnataka has looked to implement a strong child protection policy, and we are pleased to work with partners to empower our teachers. We have made a start today and will work to ensure that at least 10 lakh children benefit from this awareness.”

YI and SSA hope to create momentum and take the message across the state. The work of dynamic organizations like YI, eliminates evil and incorrect practices, leading to peaceful and harmonious societies.  How true the words of Nelson Mandela who said, “ There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

READ MORE: COW DUNG TO THE RESCUE

Image: BrainFeed

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