Stressing the need for sex education in schools, Malayalam actor Parvathy Thiruvoth spoke about normalising conversations surrounding it.
Participating in the ‘Choke The Demand’ campaign against child sex trafficking here on Wednesday, she said it was the government’s responsibility to introduce sex education in schools and colleges.
“The education department has to be spearheading this. There is a need for a state mandate. But the problem is that there are religious beliefs and certain notions attached to sex. You forget that it is a secular state. But since we are still waiting for that, we have to educate ourselves. There is a need to have these conversations with students and educate them on what self-worth means when it comes to sex,” she said.
She also stressed that mainstream films could draw focus on the subject of child trafficking and child sex abuse. Speaking on instances where she was unaware of her rights and became a victim of abuse, Parvathy said: “I wish I knew more.”
Following the screening of the documentary film ‘Amoli’, she urged the audience to not accept films that glorify misogyny and patriarchy.
Speaking about the lack of sufficient data on the victims of child sex abuse, she said: “It is terrifying to see there is no reliable data on the exact number of trafficked children in India. We all know there is a huge market for children in the sex industry. But nobody is really talking about it.”
Jasmeen Kaur Roy, Amoli’s director, said: “Our aim is to encourage policymakers to create laws that punish not just traffickers but also penalise customers who create the demand for minors.” Agreeing to the demand, Roop Sen, a partner at Changemantras, said there was also a problem with film narratives as the customer’s version is not taken into account.