CHENNAI: Nickelodeon has yet again brought out its global pro-social initiative this year, ‘Together For Good’, in association with Arpan, an NGO that specialises in prevention and intervention skills required to respond to issues about child safety. With a rise in the number of incidents pertaining to cyber safety, bullying and harassment, especially among children, the two organisations believe that creating awareness is definitely the need of the hour.
Conducting their first workshop in the city at Serene School, members from Arpan conducted sessions for children aged eight-nine through interactive videos, songs and stories; a session for parents was also conducted with active discussions on how to handle the delicate issue of child abuse. “We work towards training, providing healing methods, etc. as well and advocating the issue. We have been reaching out to various school in other cities, like Ahmedabad” explained Mercina Gomes, Resource development executive, Arpan.
Karuna Mohan, Resource development executive, Arpan said that there is not much acceptance among parents or schools in many places even now. “In our society it is still a taboo to speak about sex and abuse. Not many parents are open to it,” she added. Trainers also informed children about the measures they should take when they feel unsafe, like saying ‘no’ and talking to a parent, teacher or somebody close to them. “This is why we engaged adults as well, because it is not the prerogative of the child to protect themselves,” Mercina said.
Commenting on the initiative, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Business Head, Kids Entertainment Cluster at Viacom18 said, “We believe that children are the change agents of society and every child has the right to grow up in a safe environment. Through the ‘Together for Good’ movement, Nickelodeon has set out to sensitize kids and parents on the rampant problem of child safety issues. This initiative will give kids the confidence to speak out and ‘Say No To Fear And Yes To Safety’.”