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A room full of adolescents from Mahatma Montessori School learnt a lesson about good and bad touch through a short informative video here on Tuesday.

Members of Young Indians (YI) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), along with District Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao, launched the video campaign ‘Superheroes,’ providing students with a two-step contingency plan to deal with sexual assault.

YI, an affiliate of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), through its initiative ‘Masoom’ aims at educating students about child sexual abuse by conducting workshops with primary school teachers and students. They propagate the difference between safe and unsafe touch, sensitise parents and spread awareness to the public through rallies and campaigns. At present, the organisation has covered about 25 schools in Madurai and looks forward to educating more students.

Through the video, Yi told students to bring the assault to the attention of the public by loudly screaming and running away from the perpetrator.

The Collector encouraged students to immediately inform close members belonging to the trust circle so that future incidents could be averted. “One must not fear the consequences and must immediately speak to a trusted elder. Most students in this school are already aware of Childline — a pan India helpline number to report assault against children. More such awareness campaigns are necessary since they teach life skills,” he said.

A document reinstating a partnership between YI and UNICEF was signed.

Sugata Roy, communications specialist, UNICEF, said cases of sexual assault in a progressive State such as Tamil Nadu brought shame to its people. He added that collective efforts must be taken to educate the public.

D. Gunasekar, Chair of Young Indians, Madurai Chapter, recognised the efforts of the YI team and sought continued support from educational institutions.

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By Alwin Santhosh


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