“Not all wounds are visible.”
In our country, every second child, be it a boy or a girl faces one or more forms of sexual abuse.
There is an elephant in the room – Source: Survey by Ministry of Women and Child Development, 2007 https://goo.gl/W93DC9
Our Children spend about fifteen years of formative learning in schools. It is hard to imagine a life without parents, teachers, and friends. Family and schools are the two most important institutions in our lives. The schools are called ALMA MATER meaning “nurturing mother”. No doubt, we all have gathered vivid and unique experiences from our school life. In a school, one grows step by step, making friends and at times breaking a friendship; winning and at times losing; being rewarded and at times punished and a whole lot more. The experiences and memories that we carry throughout our life about our school years are pleasant but unfortunately, this is not true for all.
“One can spend a lifetime trying to forget a few moments of one’s childhood.”
In fact, there are a large number of children who for no fault of their own face the problem of sexual abuse. Then there are other types of abuses based on violation of child rights that too are taking place; bullying, physical abuse, online (internet/Cyber) abuse, discrimination are a few examples. Besides, gender inequality embedded in our society right from the birth of a child aggravates the situation. Remember! The abuse can be inflicted by an adult or a child itself.
The PROBLEM of child sexual abuse (CSA) that occurs during the schooling years need not necessarily happen in the school premise itself. The PROBLEM is not location specific, and it may happen to any child at any place like home, school and public spaces like a park, bus, pantheon, amongst others. The abusers look and behave quite normally (and are often someone is the position of trust and responsibility) till they get a chance to create a situation where they are not under anyone’s watchful eyes. The child becomes even more vulnerable when they have lack of knowledge or specific training for their safety. So, we, as stakeholders can stand up to the task of enabling them with the right kind of knowledge, value education and life skills through the most powerful and familiar medium – THEIR BOOKS.
“A good book is a good friend indeed.”
When the students in schools read all kinds of books ranging from core subject books like Science, Mathematics, amongst others, to supplementary books on life skills, general knowledge, moral science, etc. then why should they not read or be taught life skills and value education based books that are centered about prevention of child abuse, and creating awareness about child rights and gender equality and about various laws related to child rights.