Kolkata: While the Indian metropolis of Kolkata might not be as dangerous for women or kids as other cities like Mumbai and Delhi, sexual harassment of females remains a daunting problem in nowadays.
Within two months , sexual harassment cases taking place in two of Kolkata’s premium schools, a third one shook the eastern metropolis as hundreds of angry guardians descended on the streets protesting repeated molestation of a Class II student of a reputed Christian missionary school.
Girls and women are particularly vulnerable to verbal abuse, molestation, sexual assault and worse in the city’s mass transit system – as they are in virtually all modes of public transportation across India.
In a laudable move, the West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBSCPCR), the official child rights body of the State Government, has brought out a book of poems in Bengali to spread awareness among the children about ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’.
The book of poems, titled Chenchiye Para Maat Karo (‘shout at the top of your voice’), has been distributed free of cost among children of both genders who visited the West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBSCPCR) stall at the International Kolkata Book Fair. It was launched on February 8 at the Book Fair.
According the WBSCPCR chairperson, such poems can be used as tools in houses and schools to alert children about sexual misconduct. She said the book got a great response from the children who visited the stall accompanied by their families.
One of the poems, when loosely translated, reads: If someone touches you improperly, cuddles you unfairly/ Never keep those a secret as they are wrong acts/ Share everything with your mother, your father, your elder sister.
Another rhyme reads: Always remember that bad people are mostly cowards/ Hence the best way to save yourself is to shout out.
Now, the WBSCPCR plans to send the book to schools all over the state. A detailed programme and the modalities would be drawn up by the agency soon.