Today, children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. According to a UNICEF report, in India, two out of every three children are physically abused. 53% of children have reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse. Every second child has reported to have been a victim of emotional abuse. About 70% of the abused children do not report the matter to anyone.
In light of this alarming scenario, PEHL’s CHILD SAFETY PROGRAM aims at breaking the ice with PTAs, teaching and non-teaching staff, children in schools on this sensitive topic.
As part of the project, our resource persons conduct interactive sessions and make separate presentations to the PTAs and teachers in schools. They are taught to identify subtle signs and sensitized to treat such incidents seriously and intervene immediately.
Comprehensive manuals are also distributed for better understanding. The basics of self-defense are also imparted to the children. Following this, a Child Abuse Protection Cell is set up in the school and children will be made educated on the subject and empowered to report each and every matter. This is followed by review sessions every 3 months.REPLICABILITY:
The program is easily replicable, and is being extended to three new schools this year. We have tied up with ChildLine Lucknow and are partnering with NSS volunteers of Lucknow University to take this program forward in a big way. We have in-house expertise in training of trainers (TOT) with vast experience of training healthcare workers as well as parents and children in this field. We hope to reach one lakh children through the program.EXPERIENCE:
This project is headed by Dr Anjana Thadhani (MBBS, DNB, DCH, FCPS, PGDJJJJ, PGDDN), consulting developmental paediatrician and Director, PEHL Services.
Dr Thadhani is very passionate about this cause. As a core member of the UNICEF-supported CRPP (Child Rights and Protection Program) group of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Dr Thadhani was instrumental in devising and implementing the Training Of Trainers program for training hundreds of paediatricians and healthcare workers across India to identify and report Child Abuse. Thereafter, she has conducted several workshops in schools and colleges, and in destitute homes, reaching out to several thousand students, parents and teachers in over a decade. She has authored a chapter on Child Abuse and Safety in a published textbook of paediatrics, and has also treated several patients of child abuse over the past decade.
Backed by a decade of invaluable experience in this field, through PEHL Services, we are now formally reaching out to schools to make them “CHILD SAFE” and address the problem at the prevention stage itself by empowering the children, teachers and parents with the skills required for this purpose.DETAILS OF THE CHILD SAFETY PROGRAM:
The program is conducted in each school at several different levels:
- Sensitization of Parents
- Training of Teachers and Setting up a Reporting System and Management Protocols
- Awareness and Training of Students
- Basics of Self Defence Training of Students
- Certification of “Safe School” once systems are fully implemented
- Review sessions quarterly