The FAQs are the outcome of the CBD – Consensus Building Discussions. CBD is an ongoing process. It is held with teachers, school counsellors, principals and decision makers on the utility and implementation of Project CACA in companionship with various circulars/ guidelines/ advisories/ notifications issued time to time by various School Boards, NCPCR/ SCPCR, Supreme Court, Directorates of School Education on children safety related matters. Till date, more than 1,000 schools have participated in it. The discussions were held at various host institutions where other schools were also invited like at
IIT – Delhi; IISER – Mhali; ST. Marks School – Delhi; Manav Rachna International School – Fardabad; Salwan Public School – Gurugram; KL International School – Meerut; Gurukul the School – Gaziabad; FDRC – AWES – Delhi; Army Public School – Delhi; – CBSE Sahodya Complex – Chennai; Vidyashilp Academy – Bangalore; CM International – Pune; Bhartiya Viday Bhawan AKRR – Hyderadab; Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) – Delhi; Governing Council meeting of Western Region Catholic Association for Education (WRCAE) – Mumbai; DIstirct Session Court (DLSA) – Chikmagalur, Karnataka.
The forum on our website is complementary to the CBD.
A1. The Project has following set of deliverables
A2. No. The issues of gender equality, child sexual abuse and child rights are not limited to any particular school system in India. They are relevant to any Indian School (Kindergarten to 12) that is affiliated to central, state or foreign board. Remember, life skills and value education are not board specific but generic in nature.
A3. The reason being:
A4. The project focuses on child abuse prevention, gender equality and child rights. The project blends with various related safety guidelines, advisories, rules and regulations, laws and verdicts by various NCPCR/SCPCR, Govt. Ministries and Departments, Directorates of Education and School Boards and that every school has to consider/ follow/ implement.
Broadly speaking every school by and large has to prepare for following types of safety for its students.
The project keeping child at the center academically empowers, educates and sensitizes all the stake holders i.e. children, their parents and teachers and non-teaching staff on various aspects of safety as per the above check list with focus on * points 4, 5, 6 and 8.
A5. The workbooks are not author driven. They are a result of collective efforts of experienced school counsellors, academicians, child psychiatrists, Judges/ lawyers. The books have assimilated various inputs from stake holders i.e. children, parents, teachers and support staff. The workbooks and the entire project is the result of a democratic chain of events like Focus Group Discussions, Consensus Building, Opinion Polls, Conventions, Pilot Programme. The workbooks evolve under the Project CACA Committee. Besides, the workbooks and workshops are mapped with various content like:
Women & Child Development Govt. of Delhi – Awareness generation material on Prevention of CSA
NCET/UNFPA – AEP-Adolescence Education Programme
DCPCR (Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights) – Guidelines for Prevention of Child Abuse in schools and Awareness Generation Material on Prevention of Child Abuse.
Ministry of Woman and Child Development (Govt. of India) – Reader for teachers and parents on Raising Happy Children and providing Safe Childhoods.
NCERT – Text books
Ministry of Home Affairs (Govt. of India) – Guidelines for Cyber Safety
National Institute of Disaster Management/ Vigyan Prasar – Activity Book on Disaster Management for School Students
CBSE/ CISCE/ State Boards/ Directorates of education/ NCPCR – National Commission for Protection of Child Rights/ SCPCR -State Commissions for Protections of Child Rights – Circulars / Advisories/ Notifications/ Guidelines on children safety like:
advocacy of POCSO Act/ Box; Pledge for an Abuse-Free World for Children; Exhibition of film KOMAL – A film for children and on Child Sexual by Child-line India; Abuse; safe and effective use of internet and digital technologies in schools, corporal punishment ban, etc.
How will our teachers talk about such sensitive topics with children?
What if, after reading these workbooks, children ask their teachers/parents embarrassing questions?
Students learn how to use a compass to draw circles from their teachers, but then the same compass can be used as a weapon by the students. Should we teach the use of a compass to students?
What challenges teachers face while teaching these safety workbooks?
A6. It is the mandate of the schools to bring behavioural changes among its stake holders in particular and society at large so that the society as a whole becomes happy, healthy and safe. Greek philosopher Plato wrote in The Republic that the “mark of an educated person is the willingness to use one’s knowledge and skills to solve the problems of society. Education must imbue children with a proactive social conscience. Society is the empowering context for individuals.” Moreover, the NCERT has prescribed Human Sexual Reproduction from class VIII onward. It also talks about puberty, adolescence pregnancy, contraceptives and HIV. All this has not backfired. In fact India has been a success story among developing countries as far as prevention/ control of AIDS is concerned. Thanks to the awareness / education. We strongly believe Child Sexual Abuse can also be prevented to a great extent through awareness / education.
The CACA safety workbooks initiate a series of dialogue on issues of child rights, gender equality and child abuse among the stake holders. The point to note here is that the core principles/ derivatives of project CACA are not absolute in themselves like the laws of physics. The sensitivity of the issues and non-absoluteness of the principles/derivatives at times make it difficult even for the professionally trained teachers to teach the safety workbooks. There will be challenges. The challenges can be broadly classified as following:
a. The safety workbooks encourage children to take their feelings as the yardstick to define abuse however, an unsafe touch can be perceived as a pleasurable/ safe touch by a child;
b. Defining private parts of boys and girls in statements like: “Private parts are those that we keep covered in front of others”, “mouth is a special private part that we do not cover” creates ambiguity among young children because these statements are not true in absolute terms as at times young boys and even girls can be bare chest in front of others.
c. Defining a stranger to young children in absolute terms like “a person whom you have never talked to before…”.
d. Evaluation/ interpretation of open ended questions:
i. How will you feel when your best friend breaks your favourite toy by mistake?
ii. From whom you do not like to have hugs and kisses?
There can be hundreds of different answers for these questions like a child may not like hugs and kisses from her mother when she just comes out of the kitchen sweating and smelling like a vegetable.
e. The unknown (unintentional) outcome …
It will be judicious for the teachers designated for CACA safety Workbook teaching to interact with English, Social Science, Science (Biology), Physical Education, Computer Science, Life Skills, Value Education teachers of the school, if there is a school counsellor of the school. They all will be of great help. They have a fair idea about the above challenges as they are already dealing with them to certain extent through their respective subject teaching. For example:
A7. No. They primarily teach students how to take right decisions under various situations that can otherwise take an ugly turn. They teach children about how to be responsible and stay happy, healthy and safe.
Are they about sex education/ martial arts?
Do these workbooks have explicit images/graphics?
A8. No. not at all! The workbooks use stories, plays, poems, letters, cartoons strips, activities, what if situations to empower children against the day-today situations that they face or may face or have faced pertaining to abuse / child rights / gender in-equality. It provides them with an opportunity to have a dialogue and express themselves with their peers, juniors, seniors, parents and teachers on sensitive issues in a way that is academically, psychologically, and legally correct.
A9. No, not at all! The prime role of parents/ teachers/ principals is to initiate a process of dialogue on child rights, gender equality and the sensitive issue of child abuse among themselves by keeping the child at the center and follow the parent-teacher-support staff booklet and the safety workbooks. The workbooks do not teach any disrespect to anyone but yes, they do promote the imperative behaviour changes required from all stakeholders – students, parents, teachers and non-teaching staff for prevention of child abuse. For example the workbooks opposes corporal punishment: Some of us still believe that “spare the rod spoil the child” is OK under some situations because sometimes one has to be cruel to be kind for the overall benefit of the child. But remember! Corporal punishment is not only inhuman but it also conditions a child to take physical violence as a norm and she would find it difficult to object or resist to it in any given situation.
The workbooks teach children to be assertive and to say no to a touch or a behaviour that makes them uncomfortable or unsafe. Remember, there is a difference between being assertive and being disrespectful or rude or violent.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi.
A10. The number of periods that you have allotted to life skills and value education
A11. At present these workbooks are available only in English language. We can discuss the feasibility of development/ modification of them as per your requirement.
A12. Yes, you can, but you may have to take permission from your country’s Govt.
A13. Yes you can to some extent! The workbooks have open as well as close ended questions. For open ended questions there can be no standard answer. The open ended questions will require a dialogue rather than evaluation between the child, parent and teacher.
What are the core principles/ Learning Outcomes of CACA Safety Workbooks?
A15. By filling the implementation form thus prescribing the CACA safety workbooks to your school students.
Who should be the coordinator from our (school) side for the project?
A16. In order to coordinate for the various workshops to be conducted in your school. The coordinator should preferably be the School Counsellor or a teacher who is teaching Social Science / Physical Education /Biology-Science / English Literature / Life Skills / Value Education
A17. Our directors, advisors, committee and team members and partner and supportive organisations/ NGOs/ institutions help us in conducting various types of workshops. These resource persons are usually lawyers, committee members, judges, psychologists, psychiatrists, self defence experts, child rights activists, gender equality activists, academicians, rationalists, etc.
Are these workbooks available online for purchase?
A18. Yes, you can involve your bookseller for purchase of these workbooks. At present these workbooks cannot be bought online.
Can we buy these workbooks as reference workbooks for our library?
Can we photocopy the workbooks and use them for our students?
A19. Yes. But workshops alone are not a true solution to the problem that has reached epidemic proportions. Remember, Institutions should not preserve the problems to which they are a solution. Still you can conduct only the workshops under project CACA but we will not be able to prioritise these workshops. We will connect you with our partner and supportive organisations/ institutions/ NGO’s and you will have to liaison with them for the dates and the resource persons.
SAF Social Axiom Foundation – the NGO has the copyrights for these workbooks. Students buy books for life skills/value education/general knowledge, etc. so we believe they will be able to buy these safety workbooks which are the need of the hour. If you still have limitations you can always photocopy these workbooks for your students but do give credit to the project.
A20. Yes we can.