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Session on child safety, trafficking

Awareness lesson for 200 students of govt schools

Jhinuk Mazumdar | Published 29.12.23, 06:46 AM
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Representational image

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  • Open up to your parents or teacher if you have been abused online. Do not hide.
  • Do not get enticed by someone you barely know even if the person offers you a job or asks you to move with him or her, maybe to a different city.

Students of Classes VIII, IX and XI of several government-run schools attended a session on child safety and child trafficking recently.


The session, attended by around 200 students, aimed to guide the children about what makes them vulnerable to abuse and trafficking. Many of them come from financially marginalised families.

“Most of them use phones and are active on social media but they are not aware of what makes them vulnerable,” said Reema Roy, head of the department of journalism and mass communication at Asutosh College.

Roy and two of her colleagues, Jayita Das from the department of sociology and Priyanka Roy from the department of journalism and mass communication, conducted the session on child safety and human trafficking at Santoshpur Rishi Aurobindo Balika Vidyapith.

“Asutosh College has been designated as the hub college by the state government with some colleges under it. Similarly, Santoshpur Rishi Aurobindo Balika Vidyapith is a hub school with some schools under it. We are collaborating and sharing our resources
for the welfare and development of students,” said Manas Kabi, principal, Asutosh College.

The session was attended by students of schools like Adarsha Balika Shikshayatan and Santoshpur Vidyamandir for Boys, among others.

Roy said during the interaction, when she asked the children how many of them were on social media, almost all hands went up.

“In fact, some of them have hundreds and thousands of followers,” said Roy.

“Naturally, our job is to make them aware of the red flags. They have many followers and don’t know who can be stalking them and with what intention. Their social media profile or page is like a public display,” she said.

Most children adept with social media are too young to figure out who could be taking advantage of them even through seemingly innocuous posts.

The students were also told that if they face any form of abuse, they should tell their parents or a teacher.

“We try to hold these sessions for our children at regular intervals because many of them come from financially struggling families where they do not have anybody to guide them. Their parents are occupied in earning a livelihood. Many of them leave at 6am and return at 8-9pm,” said Sarbani Sen, headmistress, Santoshpur Rishi Aurobindo Balika Vidyapith.

The teachers of Asutosh College used case studies to tell the students about trafficking and its dangers.

Not just girls but boys, too, are vulnerable, the teachers said.

“We presented to them a case study of children from the tea gardens who were lured to a south Indian state for more money and were turned into bonded labourers. Seeing this example we saw many of the boys in the audience sit up,” said Roy.

Last updated on 29.12.23, 06:46 AM

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