Monday, 29 November 2010

Toddlers taught about good touch, bad touch

Santacruz school uses slideshow to protect kindergarten students from paedophiles

Deepti Khera
Mumbai Mirror

Posted On Monday, November 29, 2010 at 02:02:17 AM

With the recent allegation that a EuroKids teacher molested a toddler, Podar Education Network has decided to educate children as young as three to five years of age on how to distinguish a good touch from a bad touch.

Images shown to students from Podar Jumbo kids; Red tells kids about private parts
The Santacruz school recently showed a CD with a powerpoint presentation – of an animated elephant helping children identify an uncomfortable overture from an adult- to its Kindergarten students. The CD was also shared with parents of toddlers and bus attendants, who interact with children daily. The presentation tells children about the parts of their body and teaches them which ones they should not allow others to touch.

Red is used to alert them about private parts. The presentation also talks about who can touch them - parents, grandparents, doctors - and who they should be wary of - in this case lift attendants, drivers. The CD is interactive and seeks feedback from its young viewers so they learn to identify what makes them uncomfortable.

For instance, a child who likes being tickled gives it a thumbs up and a child who doesn’t gives it a thumbs down. It helps them recognise if they like a certain gesture or not and express their discomfort.

Swati Popat Vats, president of Podar Education Network, said the school plans to take this presentation to other institutions as well. “We have written a letter to principals of several schools and are hoping they show this path-breaking CD to young children.”

Sonia Gada, a parent said, “It is difficult for me to articulate what I know about this to my child. The graphics and the cartoon have taught my child what I couldn’t teach.”

Harish Iyer, activist and survivor of child sex abuse, said, “Had I known these things when I was six, I would not have been sexually abused. We should not be squeamish in letting children know the names of their body parts so they have the vocabulary to express themselves.”

Samir Dalwai, who is associated with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said, “It is extremely important to discuss the issue of child sex abuse with children. The CD educates children in an appealing, friendly and a non-threatening manner.”

  Child abuse on the rise 

A study on child sexual abuse conducted in 13 states by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2007 shows that out of the 12,447 children interviewed, more than 53 per cent had faced one or more forms of sexual abuse. The figures were published in a report titled, Child Abuse : India 2007

•   More than 53 per cent children interviewed during the study faced one or more forms of sexual abuse
•   Almost 22 per cent faced severe sexual abuse, 6 per cent sexually assaulted
•   50 per cent sexual offenders were known to the victim or were in positions of trust (family member, close relative, friend or neighbour).
•   Children in the 5-12 year's group faced higher levels of abuse that were largely unreported.
•   Boys were equally at risk as girls.
•   73 per cent of the victims were in age groups of 11 to 18 years

Slideshow says...

•   Whatever a child is comfortable with is called a safe touch

•   What a child is uncomfortable with is called unsafe or bad touch

•   It is not okay for anyone to touch your private parts

•   If you are abused, it is not your fault, tell your parents about it

Childline: 1098


[ Source: Click here ]
[Link to the Report of the National Survey "Child Abuse : India 2007" : Click here]

Saturday, 2 October 2010

How Can I ‘Be Myself’ If I Don’t Know Who That Is?

Sep 30th, 2010 | By Christina Enevoldsen | Category: All Posts, Christina's Blog
“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action.  I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” Michelangelo

It’s completely fascinating to me to consider how Michelangelo created.  The sculptor imagined the finished work before he lifted the chisel to the stone.  He didn’t see the marble block; he saw the image underneath. He recognized what it was, and then simply removed what it was not.

I’m no Michelangelo, but I am creating a masterpiece—or rather, revealing one.  My childhood sexual abuse encased me in a false identity and covered me in a shroud of lies. My false self wasn’t stone, but it imprisoned me just the same. My healing process is the chiseling away at the falsehoods to free my true self.

The trouble is that I’ve never had the clarity of Michelangelo.  The only Christina I’ve ever known was the one who adapted to the abuse.  The lies entrapped me for so long that I felt I didn’t exist apart from them.  How could I have a vision for someone I’ve never seen?  That was my question when I began my healing. I didn’t know the answer but I was determined to rescue my true image just as the great artist rescued his beauties from the stone. 

The lies were layered. First, the abuse told me lies about myself and then I told other lies about myself to cover up the first lies.  The lies from the abuse told me I was only good for sex, that I was somehow flawed as a person, too dirty and used for someone to love me.  I wasn’t aware that it was the abuse that told me that.  I thought I was abused because those things were already true.  I thought I was inherently worthless so I deserved to be passed around. 

I reacted to those lies by trying to ‘prove’ they weren’t true.  I knew they were—they were true to me—but I was hoping people would be fooled by my facade. One of my false selves was the “hard worker”.  I projected an image of responsibility, maturity, and dependability.  It was my uniform that informed people that they needed to keep me around because I was useful. The more shame I felt and the more I thought my masks were ‘slipping’, the more I asserted them. They became hardened around me.  I didn’t know where they stopped and I began. 

As I recognized that I was misinformed about my value, I shed the lies.  The truth is that I am valuable because I exist.  My value isn’t affected by what happened to me.  I didn’t do those things; they were done to me and it was not a reflection on me.  It wasn’t because I was bad.  It was because my abusers were bad.  I don’t have anything to conceal anymore because I’m wonderfully made. 

I thought I needed to perceive who I was supposed to be before I could make myself into that image.  The truth is that I don’t need to see or ‘make’ myself into anything.  I am who I am.  I was so used to contorting myself into certain roles that I thought I would ‘achieve’ the real me the same way.  All I’ve really needed to do is remove the lies.  Then the truth is revealed. 

The real me is emerging.  I’m learning more about myself every day and the sense of wonder and excitement and expectation fill me.  The real me is coming out without even really thinking about it.  It’s natural and unrehearsed.  It’s effortless.  As I heal and the masks fall off, the genuine Christina is revealed.  She’s been there all along.

It’s ironic that I thought I’d prove my value by covering myself up, yet a work of art can only be appreciated when it can be seen.  The healing process is referred to as recovery, but I’ve been covered up long enough and I don’t want to be re-covered.  Maybe it’s more accurate to call this my uncovery—the grand unveiling of this masterpiece.  BEAUTIFUL!


Sunday, 19 September 2010

Watch '30 Days in September' and support Arpan


Arpan presents '30 Days in September'
(A Primetime Theatre Company Production)
Scripted by: Mahesh Dattani & Directed by: Lillete Dubey

Date: 2nd october, 2010. Time: 7:30 - 9:30 pm.

Please see details below.

We hope you will support Arpan by removing some time on 2nd October to come and watch the play. Please block this date and time in your calendar!

You could also buy bulk passes and have your colleagues from companies, organisations, schools come in to watch the play. Help spread awareness on child sexual abuse and support Arpan!

We look forward to seeing you! Please do forward this to your contacts in Bombay and help spread the word around.

Thank you!

Warm wishes,
Pooja Taparia

Monday, 19 July 2010

Tulir workshops - Focus on Prevention


Greetings from Tulir - Centre For The Prevention & Healing of Child Sexual Abuse, is a registered non profit Trust, based in Chennai, committed to working against child sexual abuse (CSA) in India. Tulir's vision is the right of every child to be safe all the time from sexual abuse. Our programming is grounded in a zealous belief of awareness, prevention, and community and professional response sector involvement.

With prevention increasingly gaining recognition as the most prudent and cost effective strategy for addressing child sexual abuse, we are pleased to invite you for a Workshop Series focusing on prevention. It will be led by our Visiting Expert in Residence, Prof. Carol Plummer, who besides working on many aspects of child sexual abuse over the past 30 years, has also authored Preventing Sexual Abuse, a prevention curriculum. More information about Dr Plummer is available at
The series ( details pasted below), are spread over 5 days between Aug. 2 - Aug 6, at Chennai and will cost Rs. 2000/- per person and will be in English. For students pursuing a formal course of education, discounts are available. Vegetarian lunch, tea and workshop materials will be provided. Registration is limited to the first 50 persons against advance payment and will close by July 30, 2010. It is mandatory that participants attend the entire series to benefit optimally.

Please contact or call 26192026 (10 am - 6 pm, Monday – Friday) for further details. We will be glad to clarify any further related queries.



Day 1: The Essentials of Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: What it is, why it is necessary, and how you can help
Learn about comprehensive approaches to sexual abuse prevention
Understand the importance of prevention efforts
Determine concrete ways in which you can become more engaged with keeping children safe

Day 2: Building a Prevention Program within your Agency or Organization
Learn the steps in expanding your work to include prevention efforts
Essential ingredients for program success
Policy efforts, evidence-based practice, and evaluation of programs

Day 3: School Based Prevention Education on Child Sexual Abuse
Ways to involve schools in child sexual abuse prevention
Barriers to successful school-based programs
Overcoming challenges in your school

Day 4: Working with High Risk Groups, including children with disabilities
What groups of children are at particularly high risk for being abused?
Involving adults, including bystanders, in intervening on behalf of children
Challenges and successes in working with children with disabilities

Day 5: Addressing Trauma in Children
Assessing for traumatic reactions
Crisis intervention versus longer term interventions
Working with multiple traumas in a child/community
Best practices for work with traumatized children

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Child sex abuse bill in monsoon session

Special Courts Likely To Try Offenders



Chennai: The government is planning to table and pass in the next session of parliament a law to prevent sexual assault of children, Union law minister Veerappa Moily said on Sunday.

On June 30, TOI ran a story about the government planning an exclusive law to protect children from sexual assault and also that a special court will be set up to try such cases.

The Protection of Children From Sexual Assault Bill, 2010, seeks to protect children against offences of sexual assault and harassment more effectively than is possible under the provisions of Indian Penal Code. It will also eliminate ambiguity in defining crimes, make special courts with special powers mandatory for speedy trial, and overrule the need to obtain permission to penalise personnel of armed forces. The special courts will be appointed by the state governments and will have jurisdiction to try cases relating to child pornography.

“We have prepared the second working draft and will table and pass it in the next session of parliament as a separate law is inevitable. The government also hopes that all parties will extend their support in passing the bill,’’ he said. He was taking part in a discussion here on “Law reform and legislation on sexual offences against children’.

He also handed over the second draft of the bill and requested the participants to discuss and suggest changes and additions as early as possible because “we feel that there should be transparency in formulating the law’’.

In 4 years, no case will last over 3 years: Moily

Chennai: Steps are being taken to tone up the justice delivery system so that no litigation lasts beyond three years. And it will take four years for the measures to take effect. Talking to reporters after a meeting chief justices, law ministers and officials from the four southern states here, Union law minister M Veerappa Moily said the hefty grant of Rs 5,000 crore to upgrade infrastructure in the judiciary and steps like advancing the process of filling up posts even before they fall vacant and increasing the use of alternative dispute resolution forums would have the effect of reducing backlog of cases and bringing down litigation time. “In about four years, any litigation, of whatever kind, will not be prolonged beyond three years,’’ the law minister said. TNN

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Zindagi Live episode on Child Sexual Abuse


Zindagi Live, IBN7 tells the story of four survivors of CSA, what happened to them, how they fought through it, how the abuse has affected their lives, and how can sexual abuse of children be prevented or dealt with.

Watch this epsiode at this link:

There are 8 clips. Please watch in sequence.


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Six out of every 554 street children in Kolkata are HIV+, says NICED

Tue, Mar 23 05:25 PM

Kolkata, March 23 (ANI): A study conducted by the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) has found at least six out of every 554 street children in the age group of five to fourteen in Kolkata are HIV positive, while 22 suffer from syphilis.

Kolkata has an estimated number of over 11,000 street children.

Sexual abuse was identified as the main cause for these children suffering from sexually transmitted diseases. Nine per cent of the children interviewed during the study reported some form or other of sexual abuse. The children didn't even know that they had these diseases.

According to Dr Kamalesh Sarkar, Deputy Director, Division of Epidemiology, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), random blood samples taken during the study had revealed that from HIV to Hepatitis-B and VDRL, the children had it all. While one per cent of the children were HIV positive, four per cent had syphilis and six per cent had Hepatitis-B.

The problem lies in the fact that being homeless, they fail to come within the purview of any intervention programmes. Nor do they have access to sustained health care.

Dr Sarkar said that no case of AIDS was detected in the children, adding that the disease took about 10 years to become full blown after the initial HIV infection.

AIDS might take on epidemic proportions amongst the pavement dwellers in that period of time, considering the rampant sexual abuse and lack of awareness and health care. The high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among street children is poised to become a serious health hazard in future.

Research assistant Baishali Bal pointed out that girls over the age of 15 reported higher incidence of sexual abuse when they stepped out of their homes to find work while boys were physically abused when young by older boys on the streets. About 30 per cent of the children also reported non-tobacco substance abuse.

Most of these children are either beggars, rag pickers, vendors, shoe-shiners, car cleaners or porters and about 85 per cent slept in public places like pavements, railway stations, under flyovers etc.

The study found that while majority of these children had either one or both parents, they lacked family ties or bonding, love, care and guidance, leading to increased risk behaviour like substance abuse, crime and violence.

The NICED has proposed setting up of night shelters and support centres for the street children at the public places where they stay so that proper health care and social intervention can be carried out.

There are an estimated 300 million street children across the world, struggling for survival without access to food, shelter and proper clothing.

According to the estimates of the Asian Development Bank, about 25 million children are living on the streets in Asia. India has the world's largest concentration of street children.

By Ajitha Menon (ANI)

[ Thanks to Sagnik for the link to this article at


Wednesday, 3 March 2010

10-yr-old girl molested in tony South Mumbai club

Somendra Sharma. Mumbai. Mar 3, 2010

A 10-year-old Parsi girl, who had gone to the posh Breach Candy Club for a swim on Sunday, was allegedly molested by a 19-year-old boy. The alleged molester, who was trying to flee after the incident, was caught by a few foreigners and handed over to the police. He has been identified as Imadultullah Hasantullah.

According to the Gamdevi police, the incident occurred on Sunday night when the complainant and his family had come to the club at Bhulabhai Desai Road in Breach Candy for a swim. He is a member of Breach Candy Club.

"After swimming, the family went to have dinner in the club house, while their 10-year-old daughter remained near the pool. This is when Hasantullah pulled the girl towards him and molested her," said a police official, requesting anonymity.

The official added that the incident occurred at around 8.30pm.

"After some time, the girl went to her parents and narrated the entire incident to them; after this, they went to the spot. On seeing the girl's parents, Hasantullah tried to flee but some foreigners caught him," said the official.

No details were available about the suspect. All the police said was that Hasantullah was an Indian believed to have arrived from abroad around 10 days ago.

He has been arrested and an offence of molestation, under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, has been registered. He was produced before a local court on Monday for police remand. The club officials refused to comment on the incident.

[Source: ]

Sunday, 17 January 2010

HOPE RAN and the difference it made

As you know not only did adult surivovors of CSA share their stories with Harish during the 'HOPE RUNS' campaign, but also when they saw him running with the placard today during the marathon.

Harish said, “One man just out of the blue hugged me and started crying, I asked him if he knew me and if I can be of any help to him."

He simply replied, “Thank You”.

Harish wondered why this stranger was thanking him, he thought it was a case of mistaken identity. When Harish asked him further the stranger replied, “I am a survivor of child sexual abuse too.” Saying so, he again hugged Harish and revealed that he had not shared it with anybody, but today for the first time with a stranger. He smiled and vanished into the crowd.

Everything can't be measured and valued... some differences are just immeasurable and invaluable... that moment was one of them....

See attached a photo of how HOPE RAN! : ' )

We got covered today by the Times of India, Radio Mirchi, IBN 7 and NDTV 24 X 7.

Today's Times of India (Mumbai edition), pg 29 carries Harish's story.

Thank you everyone for all your support and best wishes.

Pooja Taparia
Founder and CEO
Arpan - Towards Freedom from Child Sexual Abuse
mobile: +91.98201.35567
office: 2nd floor, unit no. 24, 105, Apollo Street, Mumbai Samachar Marg, Mumbai 400 023
facebook: arpan
You Tube:
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