BENGALURU: The rising cases of child sexual abuse in the city has got parents alarmed. However while many have left it to schools and government authorities to create awareness about this issue, others have taken matters into their own hands.
Residents of the Alpine Eco Space Apartment complex, Marathahalli Outer Ring Road, conducted a workshop to create awareness among parents of the complex on various aspects of child sexual abuse a few days back. The apartment has as many as 800 families and quite a few turned up. The committee wants to involve more apartment complexes nearby and spread the word.
Anita Makharia, secretary of the resident’s managing committee says that there are now plans to form a team of a few parents who will try to solicit views on holding similar events in other places nearby including apartment complexes and even schools and playschools around the area.
Although cases of child abuse is reported almost everyday, there are parents who do not know some basic protocols in such cases.
For example during the recent workshop it was found that many did not know the Childline number.
“In cases when a child abuse takes place, what a parent should do and what they should not is very crucial. Finding out sudden changes in a child’s behavior. These are some aspects that parents are not particularly aware about,” says Anita. Now there are plans to spread this word to as many as 10 apartment complexes and schools in the area. It’s early days for the iniative and so far one other apartment complexity nearby has agreed to join hands and be a part of the awareness drive.
Lavanya Kesavan, a resident of Keerthi Folra Apartments on ITPL Road says. “Parents should not take it for granted that schools would fully protect a child and create awareness. Parents should take the responsibility themselves,” she says. While there is some level of awareness as a result awareness and alarm however many do not know the specifics, says Lavanya. “Many do not know how to react in such situations. As a parent I myself do not know the symptoms of abuse and say bullying in school. Awareness is necessary to sport such situations,” she says.
There are as many as 220 plus families in her apartment and Lavanya says that she is happy to partner in any initiative that would help parents be better prepared.
Ravi Kumar, an MC member at Alpine Eco Space Apartment complex has two children - a 3 year old and 8 months old), “We have more than 200 children in our apartment who are less than 14 years old. The only way we can protect our kids is by organizing these child abuse and protection sessions often and also convey strong message to whole community that we have zero tolerance on atrocities against our children and we are very serious about it. We want our children to be safe,” he says.
A plan to write a letter signed by 100+ residents from Alpine and neighboring apartments to all playschools in and around Marathahalli requesting them to ensure safety of our lil ones is also being prepared.