Parents, worrying about the safety of their children after the spate of sexual abuse cases involving kids, have come together in Thane to help them learn how to recognise the danger and deal with these situations.
Residents in various pockets have launched this initiative through the screening of a short film to generate awareness of the issue and enable the children to talk about uncomfortable incidents they may have experienced and did not have the courage to talk about them so far.
"When my 10-year-old leaves home to go to school each morning, I worry about her safety as she is still little and does not understand wrong intentions," says Abhishek Kaushik. "So, we thought this film would help to convey the message to children clearly in a simple way."
The film, titled "Komal", is made by Childline India, the foundation that campaigns for child protection and their rights. It educates children on the aspect of safe and unsafe touch.
The film attempts to do this through the story of a seven-year-old who has a whale of a time with an affable neighbour until she discovers his bitter side.
Available in 12 languages, the film instructs kids on ways to protect themselves and guides them on how to seek help from trusted adults if they are trapped in a similar situation.
Some housing societies have also taken a keen interest in this matter and are using the film to spread awareness about the problem.
K Kumar, president, Vasant Vihar Appexe Society, says, "In the context of the increasing number of assaults against children we have to educate them so they are mentally strong to deal with such situations."
Some are even planning to hold these programmes during the Ganapati celebrations.
"The trend is a worry for every parent. We found the film to be well made, so we decided to use it to educate our children about their safety and to encourage them to speak about the matter," says Debapriya Mitra.
Many of the parents are hoping that the schools will also take up this matter seriously, as that is the place where children spend a lot of their time and are vulnerable.