Time for fair play
The gang rape and subsequent death of a young paramedic in Delhi in December last year not only horrified the entire nation but also set alarm bells ringing in Ranchi. The incident has prompted city schools to chalk out elaborate strategies to sensitise students — especially boys — on gender equality and girls on how to tackle sexual violence.
According to school authorities, the need of the hour was to generate awareness among girls and boys, so that the Delhi incident was never replicated in Jharkhand.
Even local organisations working for women’s empowerment like Jharkhand Mahila Samakhya Society are willing to chip in, as they feel that women’s safety is priority.
M.K. Sinha, principal of DAV Kapil Dev in Kadru, said they are conducting counselling sessions, especially for girls, once a week. “We started the practice last week and it has already yielded positive results as the girls are feeling confident, as they can now openly share their problems with teachers and parents,” he said.
Sinha pointed out that the school’s celebration theme on January 26 was Save Girl Child and Honour Women.
Notably, the management of another CBSE affiliated school — Guru Nanak Higher Secondary School — has planned to start self defence classes from next week. “This session will be especially for girls from Classes VI-XII every week,” said school principal Manohar Lal.
Lal added that they were also sensitising boys on gender equality during moral science classes. This was for students of Class IX onwards, and the moral science classes were of 45 minutes duration.
“Moreover our plans are also to conduct separate classes for girls to sensitise them about sexual violence, which they could face in future,” the principal pointed out.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Jharkhand Mahila Samakhya Society’s project director Smita Gupta said: “In our 12th plan, we have to generate awareness among girls on gender violence, as after the Delhi incident we should not take things lightly especially when it comes to women’s safety. We are waiting for invitation from schools.”
The students could not agree with the latest initiatives more. Class X student of DAV-Kapil Dev Harsh Mishra said after the school started counselling sessions, students feel that mindsets need to change first and girls have to be treated with respect. “We are grateful to the school management for taking such an initiative,” he said.
St Thomas school principal Rev. Joseph J. Ayrookuzhy said they too had plans to organise counselling sessions.
“I will be inviting women experts to conduct such sessions,” he added.