IAS officer takes initiative to sensitize school students
In the wake of increasing awareness regarding child abuse, Naveen Jain, IAS, Secretary, Department of Skill, Employment and Entrepreneurship (DSEE); Labour; and Chairman, Rajasthan Skill and Livelihoods Development Corporation (RSLDC), floated his new initiative “Sparsh” for a social cause today. The venue was Chomu schools near Jaipur; it had 5 teams, which covered 11 schools - both government and private - in 20 sessions, involving around 4500 students and 50 teachers.
Led by Naveein Jain, a dedicated team of volunteers, from different walks of life –– educationists, retired high ranking government officials, and young not-so-young working men and women –– took off time from their busy schedule to given presentation, talks and other relevant materials on sensitizing students.
To a question, as to what made him take up this initiative, Naveen Jain, said,”After “daughters are precious” (Beti Bachao) initiative. I thought to give this new (child abuse) initiative a new try. News of this menace in our country in last few months also made me inclined towards this move to at least do whatever we can to fight the menace of child molestation, as early as possible, and I got more interested when I found people with same concern eagerly willing to join me.
The campaign is for school boys and girls in the age group of 6-14 years, –– ‘the most vulnerable to sexual predators as they aren't aware of the difference between a good touch and a bad touch’
Today, in Chomu schools, the teachers were also given tips on how the kids can be sensitized about good or bad touch by people in their surroundings. Children of this age group do not understand about touches and therefore they need to be taught about this, Naveen Jain said. Earlier, just a week back, in our maiden way, we have already covered 2500 Jaipur school students., But today’s session has geared up ‘Sparsh’ on the right route.
The secretary said that both private and government schools have shown tremendous interest in the campaign. More and more schools and volunteers too are showing willingness to come forward and be a part of this initiative, if the messages and requests we are getting is any testimony to this. The interest received is from districts like Ajmer, Baran, Sri Ganganagar, Jhunjunu, Pali, Udaipur, Bikaner, Bhilwara, Rajsamand, Kota, and Banswara. Going by this overwhelming response, it is expected soon all 32 districts will seen the role of ‘Sparsh’, which is neither a funded NGO nor a government initiative. It is an outcome of responsible citizen attitude where the volunteers are inclined towards this special campaign, for a social cause from their own means.
Naveen Jain is all out to gear these youth and other team members to evolve a better model for Rajasthan in coming days, when asked about his strategy to help fight this menace, Naveen Jain said, "It is not within any person’s power to erase the violence done to innocent victims of child sexual abuse but it is possible to check the further progress of injustice to victims of such crime."
Always eager to take up challenging assignments, Naveen Jain, IAS, aptly titled, the man behind the increasing number of girls in Rajasthan, who for years tirelessly fought odds and took stringent measures and started various initiatives has yet taken this initiative to fight society’s menace of child abuse, which he aims to make as meaningful as his earlier initiative “Beti Bachao” under which the campaign “Daughters are precious” is running successfully.
“We hear a lot about child abuse and molestation. It’s time, we rebegin from “easy to reach platform” (like schools) to teach young children about “Good Touch Bad Touch” to help prevent more damage,” Naveen Jain said.
Priyanka Kapoor, a school owner, and a volunteer for ‘child abuse –– good touch bad touch’ initiative says: While delivering session today in Chomu schools, with other volunteers, with more than 500 kids, I felt that it was a unique yet heart touching experience. The response of students was amazing. Teaching children about good-touch-bad-touch is very important in times when we are hearing a lot about child abuse and molestation. The good-touch- bad-touch sensitization will help prevent such incidents, she said.
Shipra Mathur, consulting editor, India America Today and also a volunteer in this initiative said: The POCSO Act (Prevention of Children from Sexual Offenses Act) passed way back in 2012 aimed at regulating even non-touch behaviour against children for the first time in India. But such laws are not prevention enough as the focus of the criminals becomes escaping the law. Hence there was need for initiatives like ‘Sparsh’.
Vikram Singh Raghav, the coordinating volunteer of “Sparsh’ initiative, who is associated with State govt public sector enterprise, says: A country can't survive with negative mindsets of bad experiences. Our effort is going to become a mass campaign, people and individuals from various districts are already showing their keenness to join hands with us.