Riddhima Kapoor Sahni column: Teach them young

My heart breaks and goes out to the young children who fall victim to instances of abuse and molestation that goes on to taint their entire lives. Hence, I feel it is a necessity to educate children about good touch, bad touch and the importance of saying no.

Nahi Means No is an organisation which was launched in Delhi by a group of women as an initiative to teach children, and more so, to teach parents how to create awareness in children about the vagaries of the world and how to protect themselves from it. The initiative uses simple songs and videos to easily impart the knowledge of good and bad touch and other things which fall into this category.

It is simply a prerequisite for a parent to groom a child to understand what is a safe circle, what is not and how to handle any situation that comes their way. We hear on the news broadcasts and other mediums about daily cases of molestation of children, and there are times when one wonders whether these were preventable. It is so very sad, I daresay, that this is not just a national issue but a global one. It goes on everywhere in the world and really needs to stop.

Riddhima Kapoor Sahni column: Teach them young

Whatever little sex education that is offered in schools in India, is done so at a much later age than what it should be, and hence it comes down to parents and guardians teaching them at home, starting from a young age. This requires honesty and frankness on the side of the parent or the guardian but the day and age has come for this, as a precaution.

What the initiative Nahi Means No teaches importantly, is for the child to stand up and say these words, but first realise that, ‘my body is my body’. It all begins at home. It has now become a global responsibility to protect our children from the hundreds of preying eyes. And as a parent, I feel it is my rightful duty to keep our kids safe. To make sure they understand what’s happening outside, from a young age. And this is not relevant only to girls but boys as well, because respect can be taught from an early age.

The initiative, though begun independently in Delhi, resonates the global ‘No Means No’ campaign which is an international rape prevention organisation whose mission is to end sexual violence against women and children globally. And we, as a country, truly did need a platform to talk about the things no one talks about and to involve children in it so that we, as parents and citizens, can ensure their safeguarding as they set sail and venture out into the world. Because rape, is not and will not be a culture.

-Co-ordinated by Stuti Kute

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