Published: 16th September 2017
Salem initiates Kailash Sathyarthi's Bharat Yatra to slay the evils of child abuse
Parents need to address the elphant in the room, shushing your child is no longer an option. The Bharat Yatra campaign aims to sensitise and create awareness as well as provide collective solutions
The Salem leg of the Bharath Yatra for child protection was flagged off Saturday at Salem Collectorate by Collector Rohini R. Initiated andlaureate led by Nobel Laureate and child rights activist, Kailash Sathyarthi, the Bharath Yatra campaign aims at raising national awareness about child abuse and the urgent need for public involvement in protecting children.
Activists from various parts of the country including local child rights movements took out a rally from Salem Collectorate to Gandhi Stadium where a large crowd of children and elders followed.Campaigners addressed the children and elders elaborating the idea of the yatra and gave practical tips about spotting children in distress and responding appropriately.
According to the campaigners, as many as 40 children were subjected to sexual harassment every day in India. Every six minutes a child goes missing and 4.5 lakh children in the country have been trafficked for fulfilling commercial and sexual needs
As for steps to curb the menace of child abuse, it was stressed that parents should engage children in intimate communication, spot clueless silence of kids and respond immediately, when a child in distress is found, the public should call 100 (police) and 1098 (Child Line) and seek support .
As child abuse and in particular child sex abuse is more perpetrated by close friends of the family or relatives, parents need to exercise caution at home settings and also when children happen to be out of home.
While the child population in the country is 40 per cent the budget allocation for child welfare
is only 4 per cent, campaigners pointed out
Collective action in creating safe environment for children was stressed by the campaigners. Sloganeering and oath taking sessions followed. As part of the programme the Collector inaugurated child friendly corners in all women police stations in Salem.
(This story was first publshed in New Indian Express)