Concerned about the rising behavioural problems among adolescents, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to provide free counselling to nearly 7,000 school students from the current academic year.
City-based NGOs Swaroopwardhinee and Yuva Utkarsh will advice students of standard VIII and IX from 25 municipal schools on sex education, health education and personality development on Saturdays from October.
The weekly sessions will cover not only students but their parents and teachers also.
Speaking to dna, PMC education officer Minakshi Raut, said, “We are witnessing a rising number of students from adolescent age group falling into bad habits and even committing serious crimes. However, neither parents nor teachers are giving them adequate time to address these serious issues that are related to adolescent behaviour. Hence, we had put up the proposal before PMC to provide counselling sessions for adolescent students.”
According to Raut, of the six NGOs that showed interest in joining the initiative after PMC standing panel discussed the proposal, the contract was given to Swaroopwardhinee and Yuva Utkarsh as it agreed to conduct the sessions for free.
“The two NGOs will conduct counselling sessions till the students’ annual exams next year,” Raut said. The NGOs will also record and monitor the students’ behavioural changes.
Swaroopwardhinee secretary Dnyanesh Purandare said, “We will begin with group counselling on sex education, health education and effects of bad company of friends. Individual counselling will be provided to those who need them. The students will also be given leadership training, besides conducting special sessions for parents and teachers.”