Child sexual abuse. When one such incident came to light in July this year, in a popular Bangalore school, Bangalore simmered with anger. Quickly safety rules were issued. But sadly, it was only the beginning of a slew of similar horrific incidents on a daily basis.
We have never felt so vulnerable. What can we do as parents? How can we turn this anger in to a productive energy with a purpose and direction?
Maithreyi Nadapana, a volunteer with Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness, called for a protest cum way-forward meet for the Parents of Bangalore, in Freedom Park on November 9th 2014 and brought together agencies like Enfold India, engaged in awareness and counselling, Namma Bengaluru Foundation which is pushing for PTAs in schools, Childline and Child Rights Trust. The Loksatta Party, Karnataka, too expressed the party’s support to the cause through its press release.
Around 50 parents came to the meeting and we had a healthy discussion about preventing sexual abuse of children both at homes and schools. We also spoke about the status of what the Government has done till now.
We all have agreed to take the following steps forward:
1) Form a Bangalore Schools’ Parents Association to ensure better representation of parents as one entity to the government, for better communication and coordination between parents, for sharing information, and to take up awareness programs.
2) Parents will conduct awareness sessions in their neighbourhoods, apartments and localities through trained NGO’s and counsellors.
We have two demands from the government
1) Make parents part of the implementation panel on child safety rules. An online petition, asking the same from Education Minister, Kimmane Ratnakar has already garnered over 21,000 signatures on Change.org.
2) Make Parent Teacher Associations mandatory in schools across the state.
To make our case stronger, we are requesting parents across Bengaluru to register by filling in their details using this link: http://goo.gl/forms/GHjzQt3r03.
Citizens can mail maithreyi.bspa(at)gmail(dot)com for further details and queries and volunteering.
About Bangalore Schools’ Parents Association
Many schools in Bengaluru do not have a parents association and some schools even discourage it. BSPA was formed to strengthen the voices of parents whose voices would otherwise go unheard when standing alone to fight the wrongs in school administration. BSPA aims to fight for our children’s rights to safety and speak to the government on behalf of the parent members.
The content has been provided by Maithreyi Nadapana on behalf of Bangalore Schools’ Parents Association, and has been published with minimal editing under the Message Forward section, a space meant for non-profit public interest messages by individuals and organisations.