HYDERABAD: Sustainable change starts from the roots. The philosophy of the Sahas Foundation is exactly that. Starting from grassroot level, the foundation started by Sumana Rao which seeks to bring awareness among children in all aspects of safety through its illustrative book ‘Safety Club’. The foundation which started a year ago has now come out with an animated film that brings alive the characters from the book in an engaging manner that is not only informative but manages to get the message across as well.
The animated movie will be provided along with the book to schools once it’s launched this month. The Safety Club book will also be available in English, Kannada, Hindi and Urdu from January. “We are presently working in Hyderabad, East and West Godavari districts and Bengaluru. But we have been getting orders from the North as well,” says Sumana.
The ‘Safety Club’ film has been made by students of the Annapurna International School of Film and Media. The book ‘Safety club’ highlights safety measures through illustrations like differentiating between ‘bad’ touch and ‘good’ touch, not accepting gifts from strangers, being safe while on net and social media, environment safety, important numbers to remember, phone and internet safety by way of two characters who are placed in different settings. The duo also provides government schools with a teaching kit containing a CD guide on conducting classes to the teachers in addition to conducting workshops in various schools in the city.
It was at one such workshop that actor Rahul Singh who was seen recently in the film Zed Plus and the popular TV show 24 joined in to create awareness among the gathered schoolchildren at the government primary school at Vinayak Nagar. The workshop was a lively and interactive affair with Rahul enacting the measures illustrated in the book in a playful manner which was lapped up by the students. When one instance from the book said ‘don’t climb the wall’, Rahul who clocks in at 6 feet 2 inch went towards the wall surrounding the school and pretended to scale it to the great amusement of children.
Fun apart, the actor, well known for his roles in Delhi Belly, Stanley Ka Dabba and Tere Bin Laden admits that awareness among children about their safety is crucial. “A book like this is much needed at a like this when there are so many crimes being perpetrated against children. They need to be made aware about what’s right and what is not,” says Rahul.
A father to three children, he shares that he taught his children about the difference between good and bad touch, but with the ‘Safety Club’ book in place, he admits that it will be easier for parents to equip the child with the right information. “The book will be especially useful to children from underprivileged backgrounds as they are exposed to things at a far younger age than their privileged counterparts. They also learn very quickly how to defend and protect themselves.
They are very street savvy in that sense, ” he opines. Rahul then shares an instance from the workshop where a child expertly demonstrated the safety aspects covered in the book.