The education department of the Pune division recently embarked on an initiative to spread awareness against child abuse in about 10,000 schools in Pune, Ahmednagar and Solapur districts.
“We have been discussing for the last three months about how effectively can this subject be introduced, which will work as a precautionary measure to curb incidents of sexual abuse of children in schools,” Deputy Director of Education (Pune) Suman Shinde said. The project is her brainchild.
A total of 60 district and taluka-level officials attended a workshop on Saturday that was arranged by the education department with the help of NGO Cactus in this regard. The 60 officials would be training teachers in their respective districts or talukas about how to deal with children who have suffered sexual abuse, and most importantly what measures should be implemented to avoid such incidents.
“Ensuring safety of a child is a collective responsibility of parents and school administration. This training is a long procedure. We are starting with education officials who will later reach out to teachers, and ultimately our thoughts will reach to the parents,” said Nusrat Khan of Cactus, who is running project Samaz to ensure safety of children against sexual abuse.
Shinde said an incident of sexual abuse could directly affect a child’s career, forcing the kid to quit school. “That’s why creating awareness among teachers is important. As per the new Act, school administrators may face legal action if they try to cover up any incident of child abuse on school premises,” she said.
Did you know?
The Union government had introduced Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. With the introduction of the Act, a special law was passed to address the issue of sexual offences against children for the first time.