DWCD scales up awareness drive on child sexual abuse

DWCD scales up awareness drive on child sexual abuse

The case of a 14-year-old girl at Kaval Byrasandra revealing an incident of abuse following an awareness drive on child sexual abuse at her school, goes to show the importance of such campaigns in instilling confidence among children to speak about such issues.  

Noting the importance of such campaigns, District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) of Bangalore Urban under Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) has been carrying out awareness drive in schools across Bengaluru East zone.

The department aims to cover as many as 250 government, aided and unaided schools in the zone.

The campaign will be carried out for a year on a pilot basis with support from Unicef and various NGOs and will simultaneously include other six zones in City.
 Zero crime

“We are campaigning for zero crime and create awareness among children on child sexual abuse. We will include local police and the special juvenile police unit in our efforts. We hope to complete schools in East Bengaluru within a year,” said Bengaluru Urban District Child Protection Officer Divya Narayanappa.

She said that teachers would be educated on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso), 2012, Act.

“We will train one teacher per school and are planning a mass training of such teachers. If needed we will take support from more stakeholders,” she added. 

Delicate issues

Explaining the modalities of the drive, she said that they would interact with children about their background, likes and dislikes, personal issues like their love interests, friends and educate them on concepts like good and bad touch.

“These are very delicate issues that need to be tackled very carefully,”  she said. 

It was an awareness drive that was carried out by DWCD at the aided school in Kaval Byrasandra that led to the 14-year-old girl revealing her episode of sexual abuse. 

Owing to the large number of schools and the need for more manpower, a request has been made to the DWCD to add one more DCPU in Bengaluru Urban.

Bengaluru is a huge place in terms of the schools and children when compared to other districts and hence more unit of DCPU had been requested, the official added.

Other similar initiatives to provide awareness to children have also been taken up by various organisations like Enfold, that works in the field of personal safety education. 

With the aim to reach one lakh children it has started the “Laksha Makkala Suraksha Project” to reach one lakh underprivileged and vulnerable children in government and aided schools, orphanages and shelter homes.

Kushi Kushalappa of Enfold said several meetings with the Department of Public Instruction had been held on the issue.  

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