DSEJ launches awareness campaign on POCSO Act

Representational Pic

Directorate of School Education, Jammu (DSEJ) in collaboration with District Child Protection unit Jammu, Child Line India Foundation, and District Child Welfare Committee on Thursday organized a panel discussion as part of month long awareness campaign on Child Protection and POCSO Act-2012.

The event was attended online by 500 participants. SP North-Jammu, PD Nitya; Chairperson CWC Jammu, Shalini Sharma; senior programme coordinator, Childline India Foundation, Manjiri Singh; Dr Surinder Kumar (sociologist) and Ravneet Kour (child psychologist) from Nurture and Cherish acted as resource persons. Romesh Kumar, head counselling cell moderated the panel discussion.

Director School Education Jammu, Anuradha Gupta, in her opening remarks said the issue comes in direct purview of the department as “we are directly dealing with the children.”

“The intensity of such cases is more than what is reported because of the taboo surrounding reporting, identity of perpetrators and ignorance about child rights,” she said. “It hinders overall development of the child. I feel such sensitization will help us in building atmosphere of confidence to prepare the child for reporting, acknowledgement of child rights by parents especially mothers and ways to deal with it with a word of caution that we should not be over suspicious.”

An order has already been issued by the DSEJ directing psychological taskforce members to sensitize students, teachers, and parents about POCSO Act. Mother specific PTMs have also been proposed to make them aware about the nuances of child sexual abuse.

Further, special sessions with PRIs in all the 10 districts of Jammu division are also one of the major activities planned in November.

“Due to COVID19 lockdown children have become more vulnerable to sexual abuse as in most of cases the accused are someone known or trusted family member” said Romesh Kumar, head counselling cell at Directorate of School Education Jammu.

PD Nitya informed about various mechanisms of reporting like dialing 100, through email or childline, redressal, sensitization of police officers for handling the child abuse and juvenile cases.

Shalini Sharma, chairperson Child Welfare Committee, Jammu spoke about various features of POCSO Act, whereas Dr Surinder talked about psychosocial interventions to curb this heinous crime.