Helping Victims of Child Slavery and Giving Them a New Life

A phone call at the dead of the night is seldom good news. However, for the Aimol* family what followed was not only shocking but also something that would change their lives forever. Their daughter Julie* had bagged a job opportunity abroad the month before and the family had been ecstatic. The employment agency had taken her and seven other girls. The family was waiting for good fortune to unfold. Little did they know that the reality would be dark, dangerous and gloomy. Julie and the other girls were taken to Myanmar, where their identity documents were forged and then to Singapore. They realised they had no clue about their final destination. As luck would have it, they were forced to lodge in a hotel in Yangon enroute to Singapore. Luckily, Julie managed to call home from there.

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Story of Stopping Child Labourer And an Activist Nestled Inside a Child Labourer

Child abuse in India is not an odd news, it is something that badly needs to be addressed. Here is a story. Naveen is a slight boy with a bright smile. But don’t let this 15 year old’s demeanour fool you because he is a powerhouse. He has just been selected as an Ashoka Youth Venturer by the Ashoka Youth Venture Programme (AYVP) for his community initiatives.

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Protecting the Children from Abuse and Creating a Happy Future

The sessions at Diksha (a CRY partner) are generally a very cheerful affair. The children are usually chirping with excitement and wonder – playing, participating and engaged in activities. But in one corner was Bipasha – an adolescent girl who had been attending the sessions for almost a couple of years on and off, would not talk at all. She listens to and observes each session carefully but when it came to participating, she would hardly open up.

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5 Friends, 1 Mission – Preventing Child Marriage

A decade into the new millennium, and somewhere in the remote corners of the Satgawan Block in Koderma, Jharkhand, a group of five friends were getting ready to go for a wedding one summer morning. The mood was buoyant and the fun was yet to begin. They arranged for the presents for the bride and reached the venue at the village of Puthodih. But the bride was nowhere to be seen! When it was time for them to leave, upon their insisting, the mother of the groom arrived carrying the three year old bride in her arms. The little one had fallen asleep from the sheer exhaustion of the day’s proceedings.

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Breaking the Silence Around Child Sexual Abuse with a Non Profit Organisation

Innocence is beautiful; it is sometimes also vulnerable, like a small new bloom. It is indeed disgraceful and inhuman when this innocence is vandalized.

Children personify beautiful hearts which have known nothing but love and liveliness, their giggles which resonate their free spirits and their endless laughter which can make one let go of their worries. They are a treasure and they should only be handled with tenderness and endearment.

It is indeed disheartening that some fail to understand the same and they have no hesitation in harming such happy souls. In a world which encompasses a lot of danger, we aim towards cocooning them into a shell which is safe and invulnerable. It is a cocoon from where they will blossom into beautiful butterflies. All we want for them is to breathe in a safe world, a world where they believe in themselves and they believe in the power within.

To make them aware about one certain societal sin – CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE (CSA), we, volunteers of the IIT Kharagpur chapter of CRY, a non profit organisation conducted numerous workshops under the “Project Baalrakshak”. Not only to make them aware but also to help them fight it, to bring them to talk about it to their close ones and to ultimately make them understand that it was NO fault of theirs if they had faced something of that sort. The workshop on child abuse was carried out amongst students of different age groups. Recently kids from Class V to Class VIII were addressed in different batches at “Hiradi Kesiasole M.S.K” an upper primary school located about 4 kms from IIT Kharagpur campus.

CSA is a sensitive issue to deal with and talk about. To make kids understand about what CSA actually embodies is difficult but Rajarshi Debnath, our energetic volunteer, reached out to the kids very delicately.

It was really warming to see how he started talking about simple words like “Danger” and “Safe” and how he blended those with the different lights of Traffic Signals. Subtlety being of prime importance, he gave examples of the fictitious superheroes of the world and how they save us from villains. He made them agree to the fact that parents and teachers are no less than superheroes (superman/superwoman) in our lives and how we should approach them without any hesitation in case of denial or discomfort.

Rajarshi gradually spoke about the four danger zones of the body with utmost gentleness. He made it very clear to them that NO-one is allowed to ill-touch those four danger zones (except parents and doctors, if required) neither should they touch anyone else’s. He made them shout “NO” and throw their hands forward in objection. He told them to shout, push and run to their superheroes if any situation of that sort ever arises.

53% of children are sexually abused in India in some form or the other every year. It is atrocious and it has to STOP. Under this project till date 6 sessions are being conducted in 3 schools were children from nursery to class VIII participated, also 2 sessions were conducted with the parents of the children.

As Swindoll once said, “Each day of our life we make deposits in the memory banks of our children”. Team ‘Baalrakshak’ will thrive to embellish lives’ of children and we shall not stop till we have the richest banks. After all, it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults!

And in the process you come into the picture. Yes, you! You can donate to a reckoning Non profit organization in India like CRY. By a large magnitude, you can help in the mission. Now is the time! Donate!

Sneha Mukherjee Volunteer, CRY 

Let’s Equip Ourselves for Better Child Welfare to Protect Our Young Citizens

When an unfortunate incident happens with children, it fills our heart and soul with immense grief and anger. In India, every fifth minute there is an occurrence of crime against children, however what shakes us the most in the Ryan International case is the fact that crime took place within the four walls of the school which is considered to be safe place for a child. There are numerous cases which time and again have proven that protection of children at school level is clearly compromised. This recent untowardly incident has escalated the much needed aspect of child protection at school level. It is certain that at present school going children and children who access any such institution such as an Anganwadi, private play school, crèche, day care center or other institutions are not completely protected.

Child welfare and protection isn’t a simple process which can be fixed with ensuring some minimum required protocols in place. It is about a range of things starting from empowering children themselves to establishing clear accountabilities. It is about prevention, timely response/action and in cases of violation a decisive action by duty bearers involving punitive action followed by speedy closure of a case.

A child resides in an ‘adult dominated world’, and sadly our notion of safety is not ‘child-centric’. We conveniently assume that children are at risk with a stranger or a school bus driver and not at risk with a relative. We are extremely worried when a child is exposed to risk if s/he crosses a heavy traffic road and we don’t find it threatening when s/he sits for 6 hours in a dilapidated school / Angwandi building. We often say ‘world outside it very bad’, but often do not invest in making children learn about personal safety which could arise from known people or complete strangers. In India, the perception and palpability of risk for children is very low. The overall understanding that children’s protection encompasses a lot of obvious as well as obscure aspects and it is something which is not understood and acted upon by duty bearers and caregivers of children.

As a non government organization, when we look at children’s protection in the realm of school safety we somewhere narrow the holistic protection. We are today in a society where a lot of times violation of children’s right within the school is not even seen as anything wrong. On a daily basis children face various forms of corporal punishment, they are shamed, beaten, discriminated, mistreated and in most of the cases it is considered ‘normal’ or a way to ‘discipline’ children. The powerful adult doesn’t even comprehend the damage done intentionally or un-intentionally to the child’s psyche. The protection canvas for children is much wider and entails everything which makes the child access to school and stay safe inside the school. On one end it is about making sure that road to school and transport to school is safe and on the other hand it is also about operationalising the laid out protocols and guidelines and making child protection an intrinsic part of educational institute’s ethos and institutional laid out principles. It is about working on preventive aspects with building greater awareness and equipping adults to address issues of child protection and appropriately respond. It is investing in building the agency in children and empowering them to act, react and seek help whenever their safety is compromised. And most importantly having conversations with children and making options available for children to let them confide and talk. The main objective is to save children from any atrocity or problems.

There is a dire need for us as a society to invest in child support and safety and considerably bring about a systemic change in every aspect which touches a child’s world. For the population of 444 million children under the age of 18 years, we have allocated only 1062 crores for Child Protection in 2017-18 Union Budget out of which highest share going to Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) of 648 crores. There is almost negligible budget parked for awareness building and preventive aspects. Investment in laying down various preventive mechanisms is extremely crucial and for which increased investment in human resource, training as well as technology is imperative. The discourse cannot just curtail itself to having better facilities in school bus, replacing all staff with female staff in the school.

We as a non profit organization know that a large number of children in India walk to school, access over crowded private transport and public buses and forget closed circuit television camera, the sheer availability of electricity is absent.

The need of the hour is strong political will and clearly laid out accountabilities for duty bearers in order to protect our young citizens and create mass awareness and sensitization to build a society where every adult does everything it takes in their will, and capacity to make sure all children are always safe.

We at CRY aim to assemble facilities and activities that are critical for children and their welfare. You can be a part of us too. By doing online donation, you can help and extend your support to the children. This is how you can contribute to the society and nation as a whole.

The writer, Anuja Kastia is Associate General Manager, Policy & Advocacy, CRY

 

Child Artist’s Position in Indian Film Industry

 

The last decade of the twentieth century saw the impact of economic liberalization on Indian cinema. This is best exemplified by the transition from rickety single-screen cinema halls to plush multiplex theatres. This was followed by a further boost in 1998 when the National Democratic Alliance government granted cinema the status of an industry. The nature of film financing changed and the corporate sector stepped into movie-making.
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“What I can do, I must do”

It was a cloudy day in May when I entered office at 8.45 in the morning. As usual my colleague had already come in and was in the process of ordering the first tea of the day from a canteen in the next door office. I am an avid tea drinker and have numerous cups during the day. She ordered tea for both of us. But it was not the usual delivery boy. My colleague mentioned after a while that the delivery boy looked a bit too young to be working.

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#EMPLOYEEEXPERIENCES: RESCUING CHILDREN FROM TRAFFICKING AND HELPING RESTORE CHILDHOODS

#EmployeeExperiences:
Rescuing children from trafficking and helping restore childhoods

Child trafficking continues to be rampant in India
with children being moved from state to state within days, sometimes even
hours. Rapid action and swift coordination between authorities can help prevent
such incidents and ensure children are repatriated to their families.

Here Ashim Ghosh, AGM- Development Support CRY (East-working
for
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CRY VOLUNTEERS IN BANGALORE ADD WEIGHT TO THE FIGHT AGAINST MALNUTRITION

CRY Volunteers in Bangalore add weight to the fight against malnutrition

Volunteers at CRY play a critical role in spreading awareness on children’s issues and also taking action to ensure children’s rights are respected in the society around them through participation in Public Action Groups (PAG). Read on to see how a group of determined volunteers in Bangalore came together

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MEDIA AND CHILD RIGHTS

“If the Media is not utilized as an instrument of social change, then change will pave its own way, which can have lethal repercussions for society”

– Prof Qasim Raza Siddiqui, 2008

Mass Media, an important stakeholder holds a significant space in civil society and contributes enormously in bringing about awareness for essential change in any society. Media hasREAD MORE