NGO teaches 3l kids ‘good touch & bad touch’
Gravitas (USK) Foundation now in talks with State panel to reach more children
PUNE: The Gravitas (USK) Foundation that gives lessons to young school children on good touch bad touch has covered close to three lakh children in over 650 schools in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. The foundation is now in talks with the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) to discuss how the initiative can be extended to more children.
With an aim to start a healthy conversation with children about their bodies, the foundation works with many schools, private as well as those run by the local civic bodies.
“In fact, we have reached out to more children from the schools run by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) than private schools,” said Usha Kakade of Gravitas while talking to Sakal Times.
She further said, “Till now, we are only working in Pune and surrounding areas. But we see how deeply this training and the conversation helps the children. It helps them realise if something wrong has happened to them.”
Kakade added, “More so, it helps them come forward and open up to us about any abuse that they might have faced. Hence, it is important that maximum children get benefited by this initiative.”
Speaking at the recently organised Good Touch Bad Touch awareness programme at Mahatma Phule High School, Landewadi (Bhosari), Pravin Ghuge, Chairperson, SCPCR, said that to encourage the knowledge of good touch bad touch among children, such initiatives will be organised across the State. “The programme is helping in creating awareness among children on how to take care of themselves. The difference between a good touch and bad touch, and if faced, how to tackle such situations will be conveyed to the children. While mobile phones are easily available to children, their usage needs to be limited too. Only parents and teachers can help overcome shyness among children on these issues,” he said. Kakade said, “Both girls and boys need to raise their voices when countered the bad touch. As per WHO, around 73 crore boys and 150 crore girls have said to have been the victims of sexual offences. It has been seen that in such incidents, relatives or known persons are most likely to be involved. If the communication between parents and children improves, such incidences can be stopped.”
WHAT IS ‘GOOD TOUCH & BAD TOUCH’?
A bad touch is something that makes the children feel uncomfortable, scares them, and/or leaves a deep emotional/physical trauma.
For instance, someone patting on a child’s head or back, or pulling their cheek out of affection is ‘good touch’. However, adults kissing kids on their lips, making them sit on their laps without permission, touching a child’s private parts and so on are categorised under ‘bad touch’.