On August 2, AAN - Dignity for All, an Uttarakhand based NGO in league with volunteers from several well known Delhi schools including DPS Mathura Road, Rohini and R K Puram, Shri Ram School, Vasant Vihar, and Lotus Valley, Noida conducted a ‘Good Touch-Bad Touch' awareness campaign in South Delhi Primary Municipal School in MMTC Colony, New Delhi to educate students about child sexual abuse.
The campaign is being run in various schools in North India including Delhi, to propagate the difference between safe and unsafe touch, sensitise parents and spread awareness to the public through rallies and campaigns. At present, the organisation has covered about 100 schools in various North Indian states.
Chief guest on the occassion was Ramesh Negi, chairperson of Delhi State Commission of Protection of Child Rights.
The AAN partners with student volunteers to propogate the campaign along with audio visual session telling children to bring the assault to the attention of the public by loudly screaming and running away from the perpetrator.
Speaking on the occasion, Negi encouraged students to immediately inform elders at school or parents so that future incidents could be averted. “One must not fear the consequences and must immediately speak to a trusted elder. More such awareness campaigns are necessary since they teach life skills,” he said.
AAN Charitable Trust is a non-profit conceptualised on a single thought “a small gesture we make, makes a big difference”. AAN meaning Dignity in Hindi is a multifaceted organisation. It is an institutional member of FICCI FLO, Uttarakhand Chapter and has been conducting several skill development programmes and providing vocational training to women self-help groups in Kumaon region. But the most notable project is the sensitisation of young primary government school children of Udham Singh Nagar about good touch and bad touch. The children come from very impoverished back grounds and are at maximum risk of abuse as they are easy targets and can be easily victimised by paedophiles. AAN has also flagged off its journey to cover 100 primary government schools of Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand district and Delhi-NCR, conducting awareness campaigns on “Good Touch and Bad Touch”.
"Our motto is to break the silence on this topic and ensure child safety and protection which will in turn reduce the number of POCSO cases in our region. We believe every child should be aware of his body and should be able to differentiate that what are his general and private body parts, so that no one can encroach the sanctity of his body. We carry audio visual slides and our team of volunteers – all students from private schools – conducts these workshops and explain the concept in a very simple child friendly language. Volunteers teach them how to differentiate between good touch and bad touch, what their safe circle is, and that they are always supposed to tell a trustworthy adult without being afraid if such an incident ever takes place in their lives. Also emphasising that they should never blame themselves and it is never their fault," said Namita Gupta, convenor of AAN.
"We help the child become aware of his own rights, his own body so that we can help create a safe society."