In a bid to break the silence on child sexual abuse and make the city more child friendly with this project, their initiative, Mission #SaveTheSmiles, will be a sensitisation campaign involving flash mobs, virtual kiosks, puppetry shows, a walk for child safety and theatre plays.
Says Sandhiyan Thilagavathy, founder of AWARE, “There are talks underway with organisations, schools and colleges in the city to make sure the awareness is maximum during the project. The main aim is to get people talking. Child sexual abuse is still considered taboo in many sections. We want parents and teachers to have conversations on it. Only then will they be able engage children in dialogue.”
Sandhiyan says the plan is to create awareness using art and other creative mediums that will make the topic an easier one to approach, along with their regular sessions that they conduct on a weekly basis. “People are finally listening now. Two years ago, such matters were hushed up. Now, they are being reported and people are acknowledging that such a problem exists. #SaveTheSmiles will be an ongoing campaign. To be a part of this movement, we encourage the public to WhatsApp SaveTheSmiles to 81222 41688 and collaborate with us.”