Newsletter January 2014

CBSE pledges against abuse

A new year, and a new pledge to empower children against child abuse. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had issued a circular on January 1 advising affiliated schools to let students take a pledge “to live with self-esteem and dignity” and “not tolerate any abusive activities” in a special assembly and repeat it in class assemblies throughout the year to reinforce the message.

Givingvoice to the new pledge will have a positive impact on students, Geetha Rao, principal of the Kendriya Vidyalaya BEG, said, “We always educate students about child abuse.

Sometimes, there is dialogue between teachers and students regarding child abuse telling them that nobody has a right to treat them abusively, not even their parents. But putting it in the form of a pledge, to be said during the morning assembly, is an eye-opener for students,” she added.

Welcoming the new initiative of CBSE, Bineeta Poonekar, principal of Army Public School, said the new pledge should not be treated casually. “Now, it is the responsibility of the schools to honour it, and not treat it like just another pledge. Teachers will have to explain the objective of the pledge to the students to give justice to the purpose of its implementation,” she said.

Saying it’s a completely different way to deal with child abuse, Shreeram Kulkarni, a parent from Koregaon Park, said, “For the first time, somebody has thought of making the students aware of their duties and rights, and child abuse. Until now, only adults were advised on how to prevent such cases.”

Another parent, Dheeraj Shinde, a resident of Kothrud, said, “It is a great initiative to include kids in the fight against child abuse.”

Enunciating that childhood is a time of evolving capacities and capabilities as well as relative vulnerability to abuse and exploitation, the circular sent by CBSE stated, “We have to recognise the child’s unique developmental needs and provide a supportive and nurturing environment.

Teachers, parents and all concerned adults, should all try to keep children safe from any kind of abuse. Within our different areas of responsibility, guided by policy, legislation and experience, we take steps to provide what is best for children. One important step in this regard can be equipping and empowering children at the right age. CBSE strongly feels that children should be involved and given some part responsibility of their safety as well as made aware of their duties, rights and responsibilities.”

Taking the Pledge

“I am proud to be an Indian. The great heritage and culture of my country always influence and give me direction. It is my duty to be aware of the fundamental rights and duties and the child rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India. To live with self-esteem and dignity is my fundamental right.

I will not tolerate any type of abusive activities that occur any where against me as well as against other children who are my sisters and brothers. I will always be in the forefront to report any such instances to the parents, authorities and the Police.

This is my duty and responsibility. Since an abuse and exploitation free childhood and world is necessary for my future, I solemnly affirm that I will always stand for the same.

Jai Hind!”