For children, the awareness sessions that we conduct at schools are themed on ‘safe childhood’. In these sessions using story-telling methods, simple games and quizzes, touch upon various important issues regarding safety such as ‘the circles of trust’, ‘safety circles’, good touch – bad touch, body awareness, safe and unsafe relationships, the ‘No – Go – Tell’ rule, and more. In these interactive sessions we also receive some queries from children and also briefly explain them some child friendly features and provisions of the POCSO Act, to stay safe and increase reporting as well.
We take the same opportunity to aware the teachers and school staff on the important features of the POCSO Act, and role of teachers and institutions in child safety according to this Act.
For adolescents and youth we conduct these sessions, though having backdrop of the POCSO Act, these sessions help us to discuss with the youth and adolescent population on the specific challenges and attractions they face, how to stay safe amidst them and not get in legal clutches by indulging in unsafe things; instead how they can channelize their energy into constructive efforts and develop themselves with focus rather than falling for the distractions that occur in this phase. We also explain them about some features of the POCSO and the Juvenile Justice Act that can help them to stay safe. Again here we take this opportunity to interact with the school / college staff regarding this issue, and how they can take measures to maintain safety at their institutions.
Besides these the sessions for women touch upon the issue of how gender roles and gender biases affect our development and also give rise to gender based violence, along with some woman protective laws such as Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, and other available provisions. When engaging with village level communities, we discuss about the role of ADR Mechanism (Tanta Mukti Samiti) and Police Patils along with other key personnel in the village in crime prevention and making their village safe for all its members with help of some legal provisions.