| Rajendra Singh Gandhi interacts with the children at the workshop in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Children were made aware of no-touch areas and distinguish between a safe and unsafe adult to avoid sexual abuse.
The Parents’ and Teachers’ Association of Notre Dame Academy organised a workshop in association with a non-government organisation on Tuesday to create awareness on sexual harassment among children.
The workshop — Good Touch and Bad Touch — was attended by 1,500 children in the age group of four to nine years.
The workshop aimed to make the children identify no-touch areas — chest, bottom and area between the legs.
Rajendra Singh Gandhi, a member of the NGO, said: “There was no mention of abuse or sex at the workshop. I only spoke about safe/good and unsafe/bad touch, which the children can easily understand.”
The members also provided guidelines to the parents on how they could conduct certain exercises at home to make the children aware of harassment issues. “I have asked the parents to make their wards identify a confidante in the form of a relative or teacher in whom they can confide if they realise any kind of inappropriate touch,” Gandhi said.
He said there was no age limit for child abuse. “Older children are often blackmailed by the abusers with sexually explicit materials and forced into sex. Parents can prevent such a situation by developing a healthy, trusting and reasonable relationship with their children. The kids need a sensible and understanding parent,” Gandhi said.
To make the workshop more interactive, Gandhi made a PowerPoint presentation for the children. The children were made to understand the difference between a stranger and a safe adult.
Shahina Khan, the president of the association, said: “This kind of workshop has become the need of the hour and every school must conduct it. The parents should repeat the exercise at home.”