Focus Group Discussions – IIT, Delhi
With focus on Child Sexual Abuse, a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on “Abuse Against Children and Ways to Combat the Issue” was conducted on 23rd July, 2016 at IIT – Delhi.
The key objectives of the FGD were to:
Develop a clear perspective about abuse/violence against children.
Discuss the outcome of the opinion poll conducted by SAI Social Axiom Insignia.Develop a child rights based child centric module to be implemented in schools under project CACA on prevention of Child abuse in general and child sexual abuse to be specific.Quantify mechanisms and methodologies like books, workshops, teaching aid, nukkad natak amongst others for the module for combating the issue.Develop guidelines for the content for various mechanisms to be delivered under project CACA.
Most of the following Core Principles were formalised in the FGD while some were added later on after the consensus building exercises and pilot programme.
- Self Esteem
- Body Ownership
- Nature has made our body
- Gender Equality
- Being Independent
- Trusted Adult(s)
- Friends and special friend
- Child Rights
Along with the methodology of CACA safety workbooks i.e. Stories/Plays/Letters/ Cartoon Strips/Animal Stories, etc., the three main characters Arpit, Sana and Pocso, the pet tiger were also finalised at the FGD.
Following topics based on the above core principles are covered in an age appropriate and progressive way from kindergarten to class 12 in the CACA safety workbooks. Most of the topics were formalised in the FGD while some were added later on after the consensus building exercises and pilot programme.
- Your body belongs to you
- Building self esteem
- Breaking gender stereotypes
- Being Independent
- Paying attentions to feelings
- Telling trusted adults
- Friends and special friend
- Private parts/ Private zones
- Boundaries – physical and personal
- Safe and Unsafe Touches/ Unsafe looks
- Abuse and it’s types
- Secrets, gifts and surprises
- It’s OK to be afraid
- It’s not your fault
- Anger, how to handle it.
- Effective communication
- Body language
- Decision making
- Safety guide and safety strategies
- What to do in an emergency
- Copying strategies and mechanisms to handle abuses
- Child Rights
- Safety Net – Child Helpline Numbers – POCSO E BOX
- Safety Net – Laws related to children – POCSO and JJA
The discussion witnessed support and participation from key dignitaries including:
- Shri Puran Chand: (General Secretary, Council of Boards of School Education – COBSE): Chairperson Project CACA Committee
- Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao: (Director, IIT- Delhi)
- Dr. Dinesh Kumar :(Fr. Head Publication, Presently HOD-Science – NCERT): Advisor Academics Project CACA
- Shri Nagendra Goyal: (Deputy Commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan – KVS)
- Dr. Amit Sen: (Senior Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist – Keynote Speaker): Advisor Psychology Project CACA
- Dr. Sandeep Chatterjee (Registrar, IIT Delhi)
- Mr. Yashpal Singh Kalsi :(Senior Self Defense Instructor): Trustee, SAI Social Axiom Insignia
- Dr. Nimmi Rastogi: (Coordinator Health, Delhi Dialogue Commission, Min. of health & family Welfare, Govt. of NCT, Delhi)
The discussions were moderated by
- Sh. Vikas Nautiyal
(Founder and Director, Leo Planetaria)
Advisor Advocacy, Project CACA
The FGD saw the participation of around 50 attendees comprising of school counsellors, special educators, Lawyers representatives of various voluntary organisations working on the issue of child abuse and law enforcement agencies like Special Police Unit for Women & Children, Delhi Police amongst others.
One of the key highlights of the programme was the senior delegation of IIT Kanpur, led by Prof. JhumkeeIyengar, who presented their flagship in-house tool, titled ‘Project Umbrella’, which inculcated how design and technology can bridge the communication gap between children and other stakeholders.
The tool has been designed and developed for teachers and parents to educate children about sexual abuse and is now part of Project CACA.
The discussion received an overwhelming response through qualitative participation from industry, academia, voluntary organisations and other stakeholders.
Gist of ideas and remarks propounded by the participants:
- Prof. V. RamgopalRao (Director, IIT- Delhi):
Happy that the important discussion on child abuse has happened at IIT, and we extend our full support to contribute in the social sector of the country.
- Shri Puran Chand (General Secretary, Council of Boards of School Education – COBSE):
Our children are not well informed, and we urgently need to address the lack of awareness. The time has come for the Indian school to seriously address the problem of Child Sexual Abuse.
- Dr. Dinesh Kumar (HOD, Science – NCERT):
It is a matter of concern and children have to be protected. The students’ workbooks on child sexual abuse are an innovative and pragmatic approach towards creating awareness amongst the students on sexual abuse and will bring change in the existing approach towards the problem.
- Shri Nagendra Goyal (Deputy Commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan – KVS):
Child sexual abuse is a reality and the time has come for the schools to take pro-active measures to curb the problem. These kinds of workbooks should be implemented for both, children and parents.
- Dr. Nimmi Rastogi, Delhi Dialogue Commission :
The Delhi government has proposed a telephone based 24X7 suicide helpline number for children under stress and is ready to explore the feasibility of the extension of this helpline for children who face or have faced sexual abuse or harassment. The safety workbooks should advocate such child help lines.
- Dr. Amit Sen (Senior Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist – Keynote Speaker):
It is an urgent situation and prevention of child abuse can be achieved by building awareness and educating the stakeholders. Awareness workbook for children is a great idea and the time has come when the parents are open to having a dialogue towards finding a solution.
- Dr. Sandeep Chatterjee (Registrar, IIT Delhi):
The repercussions of trauma on a child is devastating and has a lasting effect. Enough talent is available to work on the issue but to bring them in one place and put the synergies together is difficult. We have achieved a big milestone by bringing in the informed audience to have a discussion on this unaddressed threat facing our children.
- Delhi Police:
Any awareness programme on prevention of CSA by the school system is an important and necessary step and students should be made aware of laws like POCSO made especially for them.
- School Counsellors:
Progressive and age-appropriate workbooks on life skills and value education for school students and a parent-cum-teacher guide on the issue will definitely initiate a collective process between the school, parents and teachers towards finding a solution for the problem.
- IIT Kanpur:
A toolkit developed by IIT Kanpur under Project umbrella will be soon available for the schools for the implementation.