Online drive by parents for kids' safety gains steam

Launched on Saturday, petition receives 12,500 signatures

Online drive by parents for kids' safety gains steam

With the increase in child sexual abuse cases, the online campaign urging the State government to ensure children’s safety in schools has gained momentum.

There have been at least four cases of sexual assault on children in schools over the last six months, compelling parents to launch an online campaign. The latest is a second petition from Bengalurean Maithreyi Nadapana, a mother of two daughters, demanding that parents be made stakeholders in the committee formed by the government.

She floated her petition on Saturday and has already received over 12,500 signatures.Seeking parents’ participation in the campaign, the petition states, “The State government has constituted a 14-member committee of officials to monitor the implementation of the guidelines. However, this panel does not include any representative of the parents’ body. While the government has put together an implementation panel, what is lacking is a concrete and aggressive implementation plan and relevant stakeholders in the implementation process.”

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Maithreyi said that the whole idea was to tell the government that parents were the biggest stakeholders when it came to such committees as they can monitor the implementation in a better manner. She said she would meet the education minister with as many signatures as she could secure for her petition.

The petition, while urging Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Ratnakar to include parents in the implementation process, says that such a measure would ensure better representation and monitoring. “Nothing can be more important than saving the future generation of this country. Nothing can be paramount than saving innocent childhood from a horrific form of abuse”, reads the petition.

Maithreyi also plans to launch Bangalore School Parents’ Association so as to bring together parents of children of all schools on a common platform. A meeting in this regard was at the Freedom Park on Sunday. “Through the association, we will tell parents on what to do when it comes to educating their children about good touch and bad touch. Also we will also ensure that every school has a PTA (parent-teacher association) and they meet at least once in a month,” she added. Maithreyi said that the aim was to channelise anger and frustration of parents in a productive manner by bringing them under one roof. More than 60,000 people had signed the first petition launched by Maithreyi on Change.org a few months ago.

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