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Cases of sexual abuse against children have increased over the years with devastating effects on children. Children feel significant distress and display a wide range of psychological symptoms, both short- and long-term. They feel powerless, ashamed, and distrustful of others. Under these grave circumstances, relying only on parents or teachers is not an option that can be safely explored any longer. Young and innocent children must be sensitized about the crimes of trafficking and sexual abuse.
Recognising the urgent need to mobilise action against sexual abuse of children and that there is a significant paucity of information, knowledge and understanding regarding child protection in India, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has developed a thirty minutes module on child sexual abuse to be delivered to children across the country by their respective school teachers. The module is based on the primary tenets of child protection with a focus on sexual abuse and its prevention.
The Module focuses on basic skills children should know to protect them from abuse. It also includes some essential elements of the relevant laws in the country to address child sexual abuse – Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
Mr Satyarthi himself will be conducting this lesson at Jaipur on October 11, 2017, at DAV Cenetary Public school at 10.30 am. He will be in Jaipur to flag off the Rajasthan stretch of the Bharat Yatra on the same day.
Simultaneously, across the country, DAV schools in the states of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Punjab, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Chandigarh, Chattisgarh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh will hold these lessons designed by the Nobel Peace Laureate and his foundation.
Additionally, the education department of the 5 states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam and Tamil Nadu has issued circulars to all schools.
Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC) has issued instructions to approximately 40000 schools (Primary & Upper Primary) across Jharkhand, to conduct this lesson and 76 IPSC schools are also keen on conducting this class on their campuses.
The lesson will be conducted 11.15 AM onwards, where the module has been developed for following three categories of classes:
The lesson plan covers the rights available to children, the difference between good touch and bad touch, as well as introducing the principles of ‘no-touch’ which will help young children protect themselves from a wide range of abusive behaviours.
Ever since its launch, Bharat Yatra has been drawing enormous support from citizens across India, including Amitabh Bachchan who tweeted to his fans to support the Yatra. Earlier, Union Minister for Shipping and Finance Mr Pon Radhakrishnan had flagged off the Yatra from Kanyakumari along with Mr Satyarthi. In Trivandrum, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured wholehearted support from his government in eradicating the menace of child sexual abuse and trafficking.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sent a personal letter to Kailash Satyarthi extending his support to the Yatra, which will cover 11000 kilometres across 22 States, including Karnataka. Some of the key cities it covers include Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Guwahati, Bhopal, Jaipur, Srinagar among others.
At Kanniyakumari, during the flag off Mr Satyarthi had declared, “I will not rest till children of this country are not safe. I am not going to stop fighting if the raping and abuse do not stop. I cannot sleep in peace until we win our war against rape and abuse. This moral epidemic haunts our nation, and it is the time we fight against it, together.”