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Amid Online Classes, Parents Can Talk To Kids About Cyber Safety With This Comic Book

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With the pandemic in view, multiple educational institutions have shifted into an e-school. Children are spending more time than usual on the internet, which is resulting in an increased risk of cyber bullying and online child sexual abuse during the Covid-19 health crisis. Thus, Our Voix Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, has launched a comic book on cyber safety on July 27, 2021. Our Voix had partnered with Tagore International School and PRATYeK to curate the comic book. The comic book has been curated after interactions with children from different states in India, the voices of children have been involved in the making of the comic book. 

Cyber Safety Comic Book for Children

During the virtual launch, children, teachers and stakeholders from more than states had joined the virtual launch event and shared their views about the importance of knowledge about cyber safety. Megha Bhatia, Founder of Our Voix, talked about the statistics related to cyber bullying and abuse in India. She stated that “this is not just a comic book but a revolution against cyber abuse.”

After thjis, Mannat, a student of Sanskriti school, shared that “the ongoing pandemic has affected the school going children the most as they are more vulnerable and present on the internet for maximum hours.” She also reinforced the power of voice to speak up against abuse. 

Vedica Saxena, Project Director, Tagore International School, emphasised on the importance of keeping children’s voice first and including such resources as a part of the school library. Tia, a student of Tagore International School, shared her views about the importance to start the conversation about cyber security, sexual abuse and bullying as it empowers students as well as makes them feel welcomed.

Tamanna, a Class 6 student from PRATYeK, shared that it is very important for adults to listen to children so as to understand their point of views. She also mentioned a beautiful line that, “bacche safe honge tabhi duniya badhegi.”

Ayan, a student from PRATYeK mentioned that if he had a superpower, he would use it to protect and fight for the rights of children. He also wishes to engage in peaceful rallies to make children aware about their rights. Utkarsh, a student of Tagore International School, stated that we should always take safety measures while we are surfing on the internet. He also emphasised on the importance of cyber security for children as it is equally important as national security.

Mr Rakshit Tandon, Cyber Security Expert and Director/Co-founder, Hackershala, Consultant, IAMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India) Advisory, Cyber Crime Cells, shared key points about cyber hygiene, information distancing just like social distancing, screen time, digital responsibility and safety. He believes that children should read comic books on cyber safety as such resources will empower them with knowledge about cyber safety.

 

The session ended with an abundance of love, support and appreciation from the participants. Indian children are the most cyber bullied in the world. During Covid, such comic books will be a great resource for parents and teachers to start a conversation with children about cyber safety in a chil- friendly manner. The comic book includes topics such as cyber bullying, stalking, impact of sharing morphed images or private pictures on social media, privacy, fake news, digital footprint, finding the right balance, the right to stay safe offline as well as online and many more informative  topics to create a safe digital space for children. 

You can get your very own copy of the comic book by clicking on the link, get your Cyber Safety comic book today

Cyber safety comic book : Virtual launch

About the author: You may reach Our Voix at 9599860311 or by sending an email at ourvoix@gmail.com.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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