Child protection programme organised for Sunday school teens
Dimapur, Aug. 5 (EMN): With an aim to create support system for children and sensitise them on various abuses, child protection programme was held for Sunday school teens of Phek Town Baptist Church (PTBC) on August 4.
The workshop was organised in collaboration with Phek District Legal Services Authority, informed a press release issued by Chizokho Vero.
Speaking on the topic “My Body Safe Rules, social activist and state’s Para-Legal Volunteer (PLV) Vitono Haralu stressed on four sensitive areas — mouth, chest, part between the legs and buttock — which are not to be taken advantage of by anyone, said the update.
She said that one doesn’t have to wait till turning an adult to learn how to say “no” to things that are not right. Over the years, boys and men are also facing abuses of different kinds, she said, adding that such cases are not reported because people feel shy to talk about it.
Haralu told the gathering that one must learn how to react and express on “any touch that makes you uncomfortable” and encouraged them to be themselves, love themselves and find their true identity in Christ; if not they will tend to do many things which they are not suppose to do.
She demonstrated to the children on various ways to protect themselves while travelling in bus, taxi and auto-rickshaws. They were also taught on how to say no and stand up for themselves; and how to ask and seek help from their trusted people. Hug therapy was applied as a way to demonstrate “how one touch of two persons can heal a broken part of a human heart and give hope to live.”
Dwelling on the topic “Legal Aspects of Child Protection,” Mezivolu T Therieh, NJS, District & Sessions Judge, Phek & Chairperson, Phek District legal Services Authority, stated that there is rise in crimes against children in the recent years with 1.6 lakh cases of child abuse pending in various states and union territories of the country.
In order to secure the future of India and discourage child sexual abuse through deterrent, the Parliament has amended the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and increased the punishment from 10 years to 20 years and death penalty.
Therieh stated that children need to be protected by empowering them with knowledge and urged them to be alert and not allow any person to touch them inappropriately. They were told to tell a person they trust if such incidents happen to them so that the offenders can be punished under the law. She also encouraged the children to be confident and courageous and not to be afraid of speaking up for their rights.
Cheliam Khiamnuingan, Judicial Magistrate First Class & Secretary Phek District Legal Service Authority, mentioned that the constitution of India emphasises on children’s rights, their entitlements and endeavours. She said children constitutes one third of the world’s population and should be given all the opportunities to grow.
She also informed the gathering about the functioning of the National Legal Services Authority, State Legal Services Authority and District Legal Services Authority, and various services that the public can avail from them.
A survey was conducted using Childline material to assess adolescence mental health issues on bullies, substance abuse (intoxicants), abuse at home and sexual abuse towards the end of the programme.
Altogether, 280 teenagers participated in the programme, informed the update. Chaired by Tusoveyi Venuh, the workshop was attended by Sunday school teachers, deacons and woman pastors.