Friday, 20 September 2013

Signature Campaign Against Child Sexual Abuse (Children’s Safety : Collective Responsibility)

After the brutal gang rape of twenty three years old Nirbhaya and five years old Gudiya the massive outcry and outrage has drawn the attention of every individual. It showed utter failure of our government machinery to protect our children the very future of our country. Gudiya is not the only case of its kind, but there are several children like her, whose plight remain unheard. Such cases are inflating every day making a mockery of our system. It was also felt children of our society were not safe in such an abusive environment, despite having multiple legislations to address the problem.
This situation made it essential that not only the government officials, responsible for protection of children, but every individual shall be informed about their rights and duties towards providing safe environment to children. Community shall provide ample space where children must feel comfortable to discuss about their problems and issues with their elders. Children shall be able to come out and speak, if anyone tries to do anything wrong with them. Community shall be sensitized so that the children shall not be exploited by mischievous elements.
Keeping this entire issue in mind it was felt that some mechanism shall be created which will respond to such incidents. It is said that “knowledge is power”, therefore, it is essential that children, their families, neighbourhood and community at large shall be informed about the legal provisions, schemes etc pertaining to the children. It is felt that this power of knowledge will help the children to get protected from perpetrators of abuse.
So a group of more than 50 Child Rights organizations came together and created a network viz. “Delhi Child Rights Group” (DCRG). DCRG started a signature campaign against child sexual abuse in different parts of Delhi to draw the attention of Government on the one hand and sensitizing the children, their families, neighbourhood and community on the other.
As a part of network AFD- Pratidhi started a signature campaign in East district of Delhi from 2nd July to 11th July, 2013. Community volunteers, who are actually children from Trilokpuri community, were sensitized first. After this these sensitized children went ahead and took the responsibility of sensitizing their own peers, families and community. The strategies adopted by these volunteers to spread the information within the community were door to door visits, street plays and public meetings. It was quite interesting to see that community was responding to these strategies favourably. People turned up in good number in every street play and public meeting and signed the memorandum, which is to be put up to the Government. Community Based Organizations and well wishers were also involved to bolster this initiative and succor them in covering the wider area to sensitize the community.

 Bacchon ki Hifazat : Hum Sabki Jimmedari

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