The Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights (TNCPCR) with the support of the Department of School Education, Government of Tamil Nadu and with the partnership of World Vision and International Justice Mission organised an awareness session on protection of children from abuse for principals and teachers of schools in the city on Thursday.
Talking to DT Next, MP Nirmala, Chairperson, TNCPCR, said, “We were conducting awareness programmes in schools and realised that there was a need to carry this drive to many other schools and sensitise children on the topic. We want to begin with the heads of schools, reach out to the parents and then the students.”
She added that the event was aimed to initiate change in the institutions and contribute to the realisation of child rights and specially work towards protection of children from sexual offences – (POCSO). She pointed out, “The idea is to approach the subject in the right manner as this is what parents sought.”
S Jayanthimala, principal, RKM Sarada Vidyalaya, who attended the session said incidents happening at present have called for a change in attitude and have created a need to address the topic child abuse. She said, “We would like to know how to make students open up about such issues so that school authorities can offer timely intervention.”
Dr Somasundara, Joint Director of Public Health spoke about physical well-being and child protection, while S Kannappan, Director of Matriculation Schools spoke about Child Safety Net and Child Protection. The Deputy Commissioner of Police has highlighted the importance of Child Friendly Neighborhoods.
Andrew Sesuraj, State Convener – Tamil Nadu Child Rights Observatory said that there had to be convergence among various people to protect the children. “The background of each student is different so we need varied approaches to address each of them,” he said. The heads of schools from the Chennai’s northern zone will be addressed on Friday.