Every child deserves to make memories in their childhood that they can cherish later. Childhood is the most formative period in a child’s life and often shapes who the child will go on to become as an adult. A childhood marred with abuse, neglect and exploitation only leads to the child growing up with a disturbed and depressed outlook towards life.
Every child requires a stable, nurturing and safe environment to grow up in for them to reach their full potential.
It’s time we reduce the burden on shoulders that must ideally carry only the weight of schoolbags, not anything else.
Unfortunately, children in many underprivileged families across India are subjected to neglect, abuse and exploitation. And most often than not, these children are not aware of the fact that they are being denied their rights or the fact that they have any at all. This leads to many of them being exploited as child labourers or given away in Child Marriage.
What can you do to prevent this?
The most effective way to help prevent child exploitation and abuse is to create awareness of child rights in the society. Small steps can be taken in our everyday life which could change the life of a child somewhere and that change could go on to touch the lives of many more. You could talk to children around you and educate them on the issue of sexual abuse and what to do if they face situations like this. Children are observant but often don’t understand what they see or experience. Reaching out to them always helps. Children might hesitate to tell an adult if it is a family member or somebody they know, who subjects them to the abuse. But, you can be on the lookout. Listening to them and being approachable can make a big difference to children.
You could also learn about the signs that reveal that a child is being abused. Children who are not social and isolated usually are in some form of trouble. You could investigate the cause for such symptoms and if you suspect that a child is being abused or exploited, you could immediately contact NGOs or o
ther child helplines that deal with issues such as these.
You could gather friends and others interested in helping for a cause and conduct workshops for parents in a nearby slum. Teaching them the correct parental skills and creating awareness on the importance of child education, the necessity for Girl child protection etc., could help change the lives of many children.
While there are many more steps that professionals in the field could recommend, the most important thing is to help encourage more and more people to become sensitive to the plight of children in India. A society that gives importance to the voices of children will help reduce all factors that prevent a child from having a happy childhood. Talk to people around you too and encourage them to volunteer or donate to trusted NGOs that work for the betterment of children in India.
Help make a difference today!