It is no secret that teenage boys and girls are confronted with several questions about their bodies as they mature, which go unanswered either because they are shy to ask questions or family members feel uncomfortable discussing the birds and the bees.
Keeping in mind the often bandied misconceptions, fright and apprehensions that adolescents are afflicted with as they hit puberty, a group of paediatricians have come together and started Mission Kishore Uday to allay fears and spread awareness among children between the ages of 12 to 18 years, their parents, teachers and even other paediatricians who they hope will later take up the mantle of informing others.
Held for the first time in Navi Mumbai, the seminar took place at Green Fingers Global School, Kharghar on Sunday. Chief speakers at the session were
Dr Pramod Jog, Dr Kiran Vaswani and Dr Shailaja Mane. The three professionals spoke on different topics relating to changes in an adolescent’s body, thoughts and behaviour.
However, to get their message across, the trio conducted three different sessions. Dr Pramod Jog conducted a sitting for boys, while Dr Kiran Vaswani held a similar session for girls and Dr Shailaja Mane spoke to parents and teachers.
Dr Pramod Jog said, “The age group of 12-18 years does not fall in the category for paediatricians or physicians. Hence, we started Mission Kishore Uday to make sure that this previously neglected age group gets the help they need in their developmental and formative years.”
Dr Jog added that conducting separate sessions for the boys, girls and their parents was quite helpful, as the young kids were not embarrassed to speak up and were forthcoming in their questions related to their bodies and their lives.
Shubham Singh, a Std XII student, said, “The session with Dr Jog helped several of us in a great way. We had a similar session when we were in Std IX, but many questions that remained unanswered were answered, thanks to this session.”
Dr Kiran Vaswani, who conducted a session for the girls in a separate room, said, “In these formative years when their bodies are changing and they go through a hormonal surge, kids need help and guidance to help them get through this confusing and somewhat tough time.
These sessions help the children open up and ask questions they generally don’t ask their parents or elders,” said Dr. Vaswani. Tanvi Jain, a Std X student, said, “This session has done more than answer several of our queries. It has showed us that women need not be ashamed or embarrassed.”
Explaining why the session with the parents was necessary Dr Mane said, “Sometimes kids have questions, but the moment they try asking their parents, the topic is either changed or ignored. Parents must keep an open mind regarding their child’s changing behaviours and bodies and must help them through this difficult phase.”
The sessions began at 9 am and concluded at 12.30 pm and the seminar at Green Fingers Global School is just one of many programs that will
be conducted all over the country. In a span of six months, Mission Kishore Uday aims to conduct 50 such two-day sessions to help adolescents and their caretakers.