Talking openly about subjects like sex, puberty, and reproductive changes are still considered to be a taboo in India. On the other hand, one child is being sexually abused every 15 minutes in our country, as per statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau.
Keeping the above in mind, Deepalaya, the largest operational NGO in Delhi-NCR, recently collaborated with Pratisandhi (a Delhi-based, youth driven initiative promoting dialogue and awareness about sexual health and education) to conduct a workshop on “safe and unsafe touch” at Deepalaya Vocational Training Centre, Kakrola, Dwarka Sector-15.
The workshop was specifically designed for children between the age group of 7 to 10 years. A total of 43 underprivileged children of this age group living in and around the slums of Bharat Vihar area attended the workshop. Ms. Anita Rana, Assistant Manger-Programme and a few other staff members of Deepalaya were also present.
The main objective of the event was to sensitize the attendees on how to deal with unsafe and unwanted touch, and the measures to be taken in awkward or dangerous situations (if need be), so that the incidents of rape and sexual offences against children can be prevented. The workshop facilitators Ms. Niyati and Ms. Medha explained in detail about private parts in males and females, and further informed how to identify the different types of human touch. They made the students realize that every individual has his/her comfort zone and privacy which need to be respected.
The speakers also touched upon the importance of “consent” and what to do if one is being harassed or stalked publicly or in private. Towards the end, the children were encouraged to ask questions and clarify their doubts, followed by chocolate distribution for all the participants. The session proved to be very useful to the children who never previously had an exposure about these topics or issues.