Seniors pitch in for juniors in drive against sexual abuse

Class 12 students' group creating awareness among schoolkids

Seniors pitch in for juniors in drive against sexual abuse

 Shaken by the recent series of incidents in the City, where students have been sexually abused by their own teachers, a group of Class 12 students have started an awareness drive in schools. 

Even as several private managements are yet to comply with the safety guidelines prescribed by the government, these students have taken it upon themselves to protect as many children as they can.

The initiative, called ‘Oath For a Change,’ was initiated by Kushal Jhajharia, a class 12 commerce student at St Josephs Boys’ High School. His classmates Tanish Jain and Siddharth Mohan along with Chirag Basna, a student from Jain College, have joined him in this initiative. 

Jhajharia said, “We are all frustrated to read about these incidents and wanted to do something to change the situation, but we did not know how. We started reading up about the issue and took help of our college counsellor to develop a module. Counsellors in some of the other schools too pitched in.”

ChildLine number

Based on the module prepared with the help of these professionals, the students have been interacting with children from class I to IV. 

To begin with, they share the ChildLine number with children and make them memorise it to enable them to seek aid in a crisis. In their sessions, the students help the children shed embarrassment in talking about private parts.

 They share a seven-point rule with the children, which tells them not to hide anything from parents, that no one is allowed to touch their private parts, that they are allowed to decide when people should hug or kiss them and that no one should take photographs of their private parts, among others. 

Colleges 

Not only schools, the students have been visiting colleges too. They have interacted with several students during their college fests. 

Till now, they have had sessions at St Johns School, government school, Attiguppe and St Josephs Boys High School. Next week, they plan to visit Kengeri government school, Deeksha College and Chandra Public School. 

This academic year, till their exam preparations start getting hectic, the students plan to visit at least another eight schools. 

‘Such sessions help’

Speaking to Deccan Herald,  Aniruddha Kalburgi (II year PCME student, Jain College) - who took part in a session of ‘Oath For A Change’ - said such sessions help students dispel many myths. For instance, we often assume that sexual abuse happens to only girls. 

“But that is not the case. Even boys go through it. There is that insecurity to tell any one about such incidents. In general, in India, teachers do not encourage you to talk about such things. 

“Even if a student went and shared something, it would not be taken seriously, unless there was compelling evidence, he said. 

“I felt very inspired by the initiative. They also taught us how to talk to younger kids about these issues and help them share things.” 

Updates on the initiative are available on Facebook at ‘Oathforachange’. 

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