HYDERABAD: Former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes seems to have made a life-long connection with India, for he named his daughter ‘India Jeanne Rhodes’. He is now fighting against child sexual abuse (CSA). Using cricket metaphors, he said that all Indians must make a run to win the battle against child abuse at a press meet held by Young Indians — a movement for Indian youth to converge, lead, co-create and influence India’s future — at Taj Deccan in Hyderabad on Monday.
“It’s a run that matters. All the billion people in the country must make this one run — by educating and creating awareness among children about good and bad touch. We all must do it together,” Jonty said.
The legendary cricketer is supporting a project by the Young Indians, ‘MASOOM’, which was conceived to keep children safe by creating awareness about safety among children, parents and other stakeholders. “I adore children, I love this country, and I can’t stand anything that makes them uncomfortable,” he added.
“As a father, it is disheartening to see that almost 50 per cent of child abuse cases are unreported and 65 per cent of CSA (child sexual absue) cases involve family members, relatives and figures of authority,” he said. “These figures are an utter shame and scary as the fact is that most cases go unreported. It’s not just in India. It is a global concern prevalent in my hometown in South Africa too,” Jonty added. “Nobody has the right to make any child uncomfortable and play with their innocence,” the former cricketer said.