GUNTUR: State Women’s Commission chairperson Vasireddy Padma announced that the Commission in coordination with other departments will take necessary action to set up counselling centres at both government and private schools and colleges in the State. She added that a year-long awareness programmes will be held as well.A virtual meeting was held on Friday to discuss counselling at educational institutions in which officials from the Women’s Commission, Cybercrime cell, UNICEF and counsellors took part.
Speaking on the occasion, the Women’s Commission chief said after the suicide of a 14-year-old girl in Vijayawada due to sexual abuse, the organisation drafted a special action plan to educate students.
“According to various surveys, crimes against children are on the rise due to the inability of children to share their worries and the ignorance of the parents towards their kid’s mental condition. So, required awareness on the POCSO Act and other helplines will be provided through counselling centres to encourage children to open up about their issues, Vasireddy Padma said.
Referring to UNESCO reports, she pointed out that mental stress in girls has an impact on their academic growth. She said it was crucial to encourage girls to open up and express themselves. Stating that everyone should come forward and speak up about sexual abuse without shame and fear for a better society and to protect children, the Women’s Commission chief observed that both parents and teachers should interact with the children and assure they speak up on sexual abuse. “It is our responsibility to provide a secure and happy childhood to every child,” she noted. Informing that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy also stressed on the need for counselling centres, Vasireddy said a year-long campaign on child sexual abuse will be conducted across the State.