Yi's 'Project Masoom' to help children protect themselves against abuse
Kolkata: The recent sexual abuse of two girls in two premier high schools in the city has led the Kolkata chapter of Young Indians (Yi), youth wing of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), to reach out a helping hand towards schoolchildren through its nation-wide mission 'Project Masoom'.
Inspired by Amir Khan's Satyamev Jayate and launched by Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi in March 2015, 'Project Masoom' aims to protect children from sexual abuse.
"Yi Kolkata is already engaged in conducting a series of awareness sessions in schools across the state impacting 80,712 children directly. Also, with the support of London Paris Multiplex we were able to directly sensitise over 78,000 individuals during Yi Masoom week (November 14-20). A number of radio stations have also come on board to help spread awareness," said Alifiya Calcuttawala, Chair, Yi-Kolkata chapter.
"Our primary aim is to spread greater awareness among parents, teachers and the children themselves, about child safety. We also wish to help children learn to differentiate between a 'good touch' and a 'bad touch' and act accordingly," she added.
"In the current context in Kolkata, we have decided to step up our activities. We call upon schools to take the benefit of our voluntary mission for the safety of innocent children," said Ms Calcuttawala.
"Under Project Masoom, Yi counsellors visit schools and offer tips on how children can protect themselves from untoward incidents. They use some innovative children-friendly ways, including screening of Komal, a national award-winning animated clip produced by Child Line Foundation," said Rachit Malik, who leads the project in Kolkata.
Statistics show that before children turn 18, one in 6 boys and one in 4 girls experience some form of sexual abuse. India has the largest number of children in the world (472 million), nearly 39 percent of its population.
Around 53 percent of Indian children are victims of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. 89 percent of the crimes are perpetrated by family members. Boys face more abuse (>72 percent) than Girls (> 65 percent). More than 70 percent cases go unreported and unshared even with parents and family.