Friday, April 24, 2015

Parents must maintain Equilibrium in Raising a Child as in Giving Birth to a Child!

Into this peaceful, pleasant and perfect world that God created, evil entered in various ways. And perfection resulted in imperfection which is manifested in personal grief, lack of hope, faith and trust and the loss of safety and security of human life. Among all these, child sexual abuse is the most heinous evil that has been creeping into the minds of people of all ages, and it has ruined moral values and ethical life both in the family and society. 
Lustful feelings and selfishness of man led human life to go through painful experiences, and much of it occur in childhood itself.  Caretakers alone are sometimes unable to protect children from painful experiences. Statistics presented by various organizations working with children indicate that more than half the populations of Indian children suffer from child sexual abuse in one form or other.
Sexual abuse is when any person, young, adult or child forces, tricks, threatens, or coerces a child to have sexual contact with him or her for the benefit of personal sexual excitement and satisfaction. Showing children pornographic pictures or films or telling them explicitly sexual stories can be a form of sexual abuse. Some children are forced or encouraged to have sexual contact or intercourse with parents, uncles, grandparents, friends of the family, and servants in the house. Other children have sexual contacts with strangers. Most of the times one’s own family members make one the victim of child sexual abuse but unfortunately parents are unable to understand the children because  lack of knowledge, ignorance, illiteracy, fear of shame etc…  At times parents become only the birth givers not caretakers. Nowadays most of the parents are busy working in the fields or at offices leaving their children at home with someone or servants in the house.
Most parents think that they should give the best to their children which make them keep earning money to give entertainment and excitement through toys, dresses and all the material goods. However, they forget the importance of caring for their children. Very often the negligence of children by their parents becomes the root cause of the horrible experience of sexual abuse in childhood. The literature that I have read on child sexual abuse, the personal testimonies of survivors of child sexual abuse and the experiences that people have shared personally with me make me conclude that this is a reality which many face in today’s world.

How to respond to a possible situation of sexual abuse: 

     If your child says that she/he does not want to play with uncle / cousin / servant / brother etc… you need to pick up what the child wants to say, but is unable to say.  The child may be trying to tell you that it is the victim of sexual abuse.  She/he may say that uncle is not good or he is bad. In such situations DO NOT scold the child or punish the child and defend the good character of the uncle.  The child knows only the word “bad” and nothing more.   Stay with the feeling of the child, and help her or him to speak out more in a very gentle and non-intrusive way.  You may take for granted that your child may be in a situation of sexual abuse. It is here that you need to believe your child. DO NOT believe the uncle or cousin or play down what your child says.  You may be missing out the ONLY chance to protect your ONLY child.
      The child may say that uncle did something bad to me.  In such or similar situations you may ask the child whether he touched her / him and whether that made her / him feel not good. Allow the child to use her / his expressions and feelings.   It is of utmost importance that you communicate to your child that she / he is far more precious to you than the uncle or cousin. A sense of security, homeliness, trust needs to be communicated to the child.  If your child is made a victim of sexual abuse, then you are the BEST healer for her or him.  The process of healing will have begun from the time the child feels unthreatened and protected by you.
    The next step in the process of dealing with possible abuse is to make the child feel that no matter what has happened she / he is still your dearest and best one.  Help the child feel that she / he is still good and that for you she / he matters much.  These words have meaning only if you avoid everything that would make the child feel negative about her or him.
NEVER BLAME OR PUNISH THE CHILD.  Parents are in the habit of blaming the child for whatever may go wrong because it is easier to blame the child than the adult. Besides, the child cannot defend itself.  In no way your child is responsible for what has happened (assuming something has gone wrong).  Never say: ‘You are a bad girl’ or ‘You are a bad boy’.  To be labeled as bad for innocent behavior is the greatest harm one can do to a child.  Ensure that the so called ‘uncle’ or ‘cousin’ is blamed and the child should be helped to think and feel that it has done no wrong.  The blame is to go totally and entirely to the perpetrator.  
      Ask the child whether she / he would like a change.  For example a change in the driver who transports her / him to the school; the shopkeeper who regularly supplies the stationery; the teacher who takes tuition; the kitchen girl who prepares the food etc…  Remember the perpetrator of the crime is very close to the child and is a confidant.
      Ensure the safety of the child in all contexts.  If need be, change the location where the child frequents or the school that she / he frequents. Protect the privacy of the child as much as possible.  It is of utmost importance that no one gets a chance to make the child feel bad, sad and ashamed.  No matter how good your intention is.
     REMEMBER, there is no one who is as capable and competent as you, the parent, to bring the original innocence back to the child.  She or he can be totally and completely made well, in case sexual abuse has taken place, provided you stay with the child with all the love you can pour out on her /him.
Finally believe in your child. Children usually do not lie.


       Image source: www. frontpagemag.com





Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A day in the school with techies

Early morning three hours ride to the country side rejuvenate our senses isn't it? March first week, spring season dressed in its green gown. The beautiful climate welcomed us all the way to the school.
Academic year is coming to conclude in less than a month, it's time  to visit our rural school, ZPHS Gandeed to evaluate their learning through virtual classroom. We made it on 7th March '15 along with a new set of volunteers working in different professions.

We were excited to see the pupils after five months; though we daily interact them in virtual classroom. Inspite of Holi festival prior day, more than 80% pupils turned up to school on Saturday. That makes our teaching unique.

Volunteers were thrilled to meet the pupils, they spent the whole day in their assigned class. Experience in their own words...
"When I talked to these pupils I was really amazed and wondered that they are really good in English. They have learned a lot from virtual class teaching. EFF has given them good opportunity from what they're learning from their regular syllabus. Moreover, they said an interesting line on me - 'this is the first time we're talking to a Punjabi guy, you are literally awesome'. These words made my day." - Supreet Singh, Design Manager at PurpleTalk


"I got the opportunity to teach the 7th class students through EFF. Before going there my thoughts were like, ‘You are going to a govt school and do not expect much from their side’.
But they proved me wrong and I am very happy for that.
They are poor in English but very enthusiastic, not afraid to express what they know and made my life hard with missiles like questions flying from all around. They have appetite for learning. 
Thank you EFF for making them wonder kids. I can feel all the efforts you have put in when I stood between them.
All the best.
And thank you for giving me the opportunity to teach as well as learn. " - Manohar Krishna, Director & CEO, Creative Bite Digital studio  

"It was an extraordinary experience for me to teach small kids. I was amazed to meet those kids and see how enthusiastic they were to learn the new things through online education system introduced by EFF. After meeting the students, I couldn't judge if they were the students of some govt. school in some village. This kind of initiatives can give a new shape to our Indian education system. Keep it up EFF"- Harsimran Kaur, Freelance designer, sewer & home maker

"Some of the students looked passive, but when I asked questions they answered with full explanation, it was beyond my expectations. I taught them how to give presentation using the resources available-like piece of chalk and black board. I was amazed to see a boy how well he implemented my words. Pupils need this kind of platform to inspire, they'll automatically become good citizen. There is something lacking in this 8th Std, but they're putting good efforts in English-speaking skills.This is the first time I am in between kids, it's wonderful experience; I really learned a lot from them, looking forward to teach and learn from these innocent and smart champs." - Shiva Dasoju, SSE-QA, PurpleTalk

"I dealt with 7th Telugu Medium students. Praveeen, Ravi, Mahesh, Mahendra, Yadaiah have been the best performers." - Nagaraju, SE-Dev at PurpleTalk'

Volunteers are the key resource for a non-profit organisation. On behalf of EFF, we express our gratefulnes to all these techies for making our evaluation easier. A part from it, hanging out with you guys was great fun for the pupils :)