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IIT Delhi, New Delhi, 23rd July, 2016

Focus Group Discussion organized by SAI on ‘Abuse Against Children & Ways to Combat the Issue’

Social Axiom Insignia (SAI), with Edusynergis and Endzone, organised a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on ‘Abuse Against Children and Ways to Combat the Issue’ at IIT Delhi, as a step forward in actualizing the vision of developing a robust module for combating the issue.

The discussion witnessed support and participation from key dignitaries including –

Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao (Director, IIT- Delhi)
Shri Puran Chand (General Secretary, Council of Boards of School Education – COBSE)
Shri Nagendra Goyal (Deputy Commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan – KVS)
Dr. Dinesh Kumar (Head Publication, National Council of Educational Research and Training – NCERT)
Dr. Sandeep Chatterjee (Registrar, IIT Delhi)
Dr. Amit Sen (Senior Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist – Keynote Speaker)
Mr. Yashpal Sing Kalsi (Trustee, SAI & Senior Self Defense Instructor)
Dr. Nimmi Rastogi (Coordinator Health, Delhi Dialogue Commission, Ministry of health & family Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi)
The FGD saw the participation of around 50 attendees comprising of school counsellors, special educators, 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.

Complete List of Participants- FGD IIT Delhi

The objectives of the FGD were:

Developing a clear perspective amongst the attendees about abuse/violence against children and discuss the feasible mechanism which can be implemented to combat the issue.
To discuss the features/topics/aspects covered in the module and thereby integrating the valued opinions of the participants that will further help in enhancing the module.
To evolve strategies for combating violence against children which can be further developed and implemented to curb the problem.
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.

The discussion received an overwhelming response through qualitative participation from industry, academia, voluntary organisations and other stakeholders.

Remarks and ideas 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 (Head Publication, National Council of Educational Research and Training – NCERT) – It is a matter of concern and children have to be protected. Students’ workbooks on child sexual abuse is 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.

Dr. Amit Sen – 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.

School Counsellors
– Progressive and age-appropriate workbooks 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.

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