This Local Dairy Is Teaching Kids Self-Defence, And It Is Working Really Well!

Posted on July 29, 2016 in Child Sexual Abuse, Society

By Gauri Bansal:

“What will you do if they come for you?”

“I will look them in the eye and say no.”
“I will bite, push or fight them.”
“I will run from there and shout for help.”

Unheard cries, nerve-wrecking reoccurrences, and trembling hands have come to characterise childhood that is supposed to be the best time of a child’s life. Struggles through increased number of organised crimes, child trafficking, rapes and other child right violations across the nation have raised the demand and need for the learning of self-protection techniques and awareness.The capital’s children are no different. Climbing the charts of the worst affected areas is Shahbad Dairy, Delhi’s distant neglected baby. Over the past few years, the area has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of crimes related to child protection essentially due to the lack of basic amenities. Amongst other deprivations, until a few

The capital’s children are no different. Climbing the charts of the worst affected areas is Shahbad Dairy, Delhi’s distant neglected baby. Over the past few years, the area has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of crimes related to child protection essentially due to the lack of basic amenities. Amongst other deprivations, until a few years, the area did not have any toilets let alone the possibility of their functioning to cater to a population of nearly one and a half lakh citizens. Lately, several heinous crimes in Shahbad Dairy are taking roots from this shortage and using it to their advantage. Children, more than anyone else are subjects to such organised crimes. Women and children go to the nearby forest to relieve themselves due to the lack of toilet facilities making them vulnerable to such crimes. A majority of these children are raped, teased, abused or abducted in isolation.In order to combat these, protection training and awareness for kids has become an essential prerequisite to ensure safety for children prone to such crimes. Reports about rape and child trafficking have highlighted disturbing numbers of victims across both girls and boys, there have been no gendered differences in their training practices. Boys and girls alike are being made conscious of their bodies, alien touch and protective measures. Children are being trained to be more aware of the surroundings, senses and sensibilities and younger adults are being educated about the consequences of such crimes. Prevention techniques and awareness about their environment will essentially help reduce the numbers of the victims and missing children.

In order to combat these, protection training and awareness for kids has become an essential prerequisite to ensure safety for children prone to such crimes. Reports about rape and child trafficking have highlighted disturbing numbers of victims across both girls and boys, there have been no gendered differences in their training practices. Boys and girls alike are being made conscious of their bodies, alien touch and protective measures. Children are being trained to be more aware of the surroundings, senses and sensibilities and younger adults are being educated about the consequences of such crimes. Prevention techniques and awareness about their environment will essentially help reduce the numbers of the victims and missing children.

Apparently, the locals are disappointed with the lack of government interest and intervention as they continue to struggle with issues that illiteracy and unawareness to help them avail the legislative schemes. Most government-initiated schemes have not reached Shahbad Dairy, an area only a few kilometres from the heart of the Capital. Despite having these crimes perpetuate for nearly six years the police apathy prevented the safe reporting and patrolling to control these crimes. The youth of the area has taken this issue collectively in their stride and formed several collective groups to fight it. Children collectives have been actively engaged in spreading words of safety amidst the families and the youth groups have conducted demonstrations and street plays to bring people’s attention to the gravity of the situation. In a place where daily wage labour is the majority occupation, raising consciousness about the perpetration of these organised crimes requires immediate attention and action.

“Every child in the Dairy is my brother and sister. If I protect them, they will protect me because it can be any one of us and we need unity,” said 16-year-old Kriti who having lost her younger sibling a few months ago, has pledged to ensure that the situation does not repeat in any other family in the Dairy. Youngsters like Kriti have also been key players in altering popular perceptions against self-help and protection. Children who have come back or have been freed from bonded labour reveal their shocking experiences to draw the attention to the consequences and also provide firsthand accounts of what must be done in such situations. Local NGOs like Saksham, supported by CRY -Child Rights and You, work actively with young children to make them

Local NGOs like Saksham, supported by CRY – Child Rights and You, work actively with young children to make them realise their rights and train them the essentials needed to fight their fears. Recently as part of a Saksham-led campaign, children went door-to-door before Holi to ensure an alcohol and drugs free Holi to avoid crimes under the influence of the abused substance. Raksha Bandhan also saw the police promising the children to ensure their support and service to protect the children. Even though the promise did not last long, having their efforts yield effective results acted as a ray of hope for the children.

The children have also been disseminating what they learn amongst their family and friends. Fearing the loss of one’s child, most parents do not let children out of the houses due to the fear of losing them. Such measures do not ensure the child’s safety and in turn, restrict the mobility of the child leading to psychologically crippled childhood. This parental anxiety also needs to be addressed to help family members understand their role as supporters of the children. The youth has been actively engaged in coaching the parents about alternative ways to ensure their child’s safety and things to do in alarming situations. To be able to see long term effects on a child’s mind, it is essential to map and analyse the psyche and perceptions of the family and equip with the skills and resources to train their children the right way. These groups have also partnered with organisations like Child Rights and You and some political commissions to seek help in their initiatives.

Youth collectives such as the ones in Shahbad Dairy are presented as local fearless heroes that fight these crimes with weapons of unity and courage and defeat the enemy of organised social evils. In order to fight crimes that violate children’s protection, all sections of the society need to rise to ensure their safety. To be able to claim a safe and conscious society one must pause to observe what lies in the hands of the future generation.

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If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at dial1098@childlineindia.org.in. You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.