Friday, 27 November 2009

Major role for schools in preventing child abuse

By Meera Srinivasan

Friday, Nov 20, 2009

Experts believe that sustaining such efforts is real issue

Schools should pay attention to their screening and recruitment process

CHENNAI: Several events were organised in the city on Thursday to mark the ‘World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse.’ However, some activists and experts believe that sustaining such efforts is the real issue. They feel every day ought to be a ‘prevention of child abuse day’.

From abusing children emotionally for “poor academic performance” to sexual abuse, many children are being subjected to a lot of abuse, if reports of incidents highlighting these are an indication. But, there is something everyone can do to prevent this.

For instance, Lady Andal Matriculation School has been taking several efforts in this direction. In particular, it lays emphasis on generating awareness of child sexual abuse (CSA). Vice-principal Rathi Radhakrishnan says: “Everyone tends to brush such things under the carpet, saying child sexual abuse should not be there in schools. But, the truth is that it is there. Acknowledging the possibility [of CSA] is very important.”

From inviting experts in the field to address students, to sensitising teachers, the school has been taking up several efforts. “We even address the little ones in our Montessori sections about who can hug them, and how they should identify inappropriate, unacceptable behaviour of adults.”

Jayashree Padmanabhan, principal of Gill Adarsh Matriculation School, also thinks it is important for children to be given opportunities to speak out. “We wanted to know their opinion on child abuse and we organised events such as oratorical contest, debate and slogan-writing competition today [Thursday]. They came up with some very insightful thoughts.”

Underlying the role of schools in creating awareness, Tulir — Centre for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse has initiated ‘Daring to Care,’ a school-based campaign.

The initiative seeks to rope in city schools into the space of prevention of CSA. “Many schools have been extremely cooperative. Some have even distributed flyers to their kindergarten children with their school’s logo on them,” says Vidya Reddy, executive director, Tulir. Safe schools acknowledge and accept the possibility of abuse in and out of school. “They talk about it, giving children a notion of their safety,” she adds.

Schools should pay attention to their screening and recruitment process. “They have to see what kind of training is given to teachers on child protection, what measures are taken to maintain safety in schools, whether there is a code of conduct and questions such as, How do you report an allegation of abuse? And how do you address it?”

Complaint cell

The School Education Department launched a complaint cell (Number: 28273591) two years ago. According to a senior official at the Directorate of School Education, the cell does get calls from students reporting sexual abuse. “But, the number of such calls has come down.” The Chief Education Officers have been given instructions to deal with such cases “responsibly.” And responsibly would have to be taking the matter to the police immediately, and not merely transferring teachers, which is a common practice, say activists.

Interest to spread the message from different quarters is a promising sign. An online network of mothers,, has been sending out messages to parents on the possibility for abuse online and the need for Internet safety. “Many children spend considerable time online. Many parents said they did not know that such threats existed and seemed happy to become aware,” says Bhavani Raman, founder,

[Source: ]

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

9-year-old files case of rape against dad


A depraved man raped his helpless 9-year-old daughter in Mumbai for two years and even sold her to his friends. Finally, the girl’s grandfather took courage and helped the girl file a case. Apart from this painful and shocking case in today’s crime file, there are the cases of an MD who had an itch to steal, a human sacrifice in IT city of Hyderabad and a BPO who jumped to death in Bangalore. Read on.

Crime file

Father, friends arrested for abusing young girl

In a depressing and shocking case, a 9-year-old girl in Mumbai has filed a complaint of rape against her father. The girl filed the case with the help of her grandfather.

In the horrifying complaint, the girl described how her father, Chhatish Das (33), and friends allegedly raped her for over two years, made her bones ache and sent her through hell.

The police have now arrested Das and two others -- Ashok Sahu and Shabbir Syyed.

The girl is half Cambodian and does not have any relatives from her mother's side in Mumbai. She first poured out her woes to her grandmother who informed her husband. The grandfather took her to the police station and helped her file a complaint against his own son.

According to the police, Das worked as an electrician in Cambodia and fell in love with a local woman. They got married in 2002 and had a daughter. Three years after marriage, he left his wife and returned to India. A year later, his wife sent their daughter to India.

Das's parents had thrown him out of their house for marrying without their consent. But when Das pushed his daughter to the streets to beg, they let him and the girl stay in their house in Kandivli (W).

The girl told the police that her father had forced her to have sex with him. He then started bringing in his friends and on several occasions took money in exchange for sex.

One day the girl telephoned her grandfather and complained that her father was ill-treating her. The elderly man then sent the child and her grandmother to his village. There the girl took courage to describe the trauma she had been undergoing. The shocked grandmother brought the little girl to Mumbai and told her husband about it.

The man then took the girl to the local police station and helped her file a complaint.

Senior police inspector P S Gawande of Charkop police station told the local press that the girl's story was big shock to her grandparents . The couple discussed it for a couple of days and then decided to file a police complaint on Tuesday .

The elderly couple said they were also victims to brutality as Das beat them regularly while under the influence of alcohol. The couple eventually asked Das to leave their flat with his daughter.

[ Source: ]

[Thanks to Sagnik for the link]