BENGALURU: With frequent instances of child sexual abuse coming to light in the city, various organisations are working towards fighting the problem. City Express takes a look at some initiatives.
Enfold Proactive Health Trust works in the area of personal safety and life skills education. To empower one lakh students across Karnataka, it has started the Laksha Makkalu Suraksha Project, and will raise funds with the help of musicians Stephen Devassy and Vijay Prakash. The event, at 7 pm on November 15, will take place at Indiranagar Club.
"We want to reach out to rural Karnataka as well as Bengaluru. We are still ignorant about the basic steps to ensure children's safety. We're trying to change that," says Suja S, community services officer at Enfold.
The phones at Enfold have been ringing continuously, with schools and parents asking them to run their awareness courses for their children. "Earlier we would beg schools to let us conduct our courses on their premises. But now they finally understand that child safety is a serious issue," she says.
Enfold's awareness courses cover two wide topics: how to take care of one's body; and how to recognise sexual abuse. "If children don't know something wrong is happening, they will not be able to report it. We also want to teach them about boundaries and how to respect their own as well as others' boundaries," says Suja.
They are also looking at sensitising parents, educators, policemen and hospital staff on recognising and dealing with child abuse. "We want to arm these people with sufficient legal and other knowledge," she says.
At the fund-raising event on November 15, Enfold will also have 40 children from an orphanage, between eight and 14, giving a musical concert. "On November 19, International Day for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, we are looking at releasing a CD on child sexual awareness. It will have sound bytes from prominent dignitaries from across Karnataka," says Suja. Contact Enfold on +91 9900073303
Tasneem Nakhoda, counsellor since 2003, and Chandrashekar Jayaraman, a civil engineer, have started Tattva, a free counselling centre for women and children, at Koramangala. "Our society is changing at a tremendous pace. While we are offered better opportunities, they come with a variety of pressure and stress. There will always be a situation in which one needs emotional help or just the needs to be heard," said Tasneem.
Team Tattava consists of four experienced counsellors. "Our bigger picture is to provide support beyond counselling to underprivileged women and children," she explained.
The main intention is to have counselling centres around the city eventually. Now, counselling is done in person, and not over the phone. Tattva does not have a toll-free number yet.
"We prefer to meet people personally. The details are often shared over the phone after which women comesover to the centre for a more detailed discussion. Our centre is open from 10 am to 6 pm from Monday to Saturday," said Tasneem.
Tattva is located at #606, III Floor, 80 Ft Road, Koramangala 8th Block (opposite police station). For appointments, call 080 25711253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org