An insight into fulfilling the emotional and psychological requirements of child-abuse victims was provided to Anganwadi teachers during a recent workshop conducted at the Bishop Heber College under the aegis of Childline 1098, in connection with Children’s Day celebration.

Taking the support of the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development, New Delhi, and Childline India Foundation, Mumbai, the College’s Department of Social Work that functions as Childline Nodal Organisation organised the workshop to benefit 60 Anganwadi teachers employed under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme from across the district. Twenty child beneficiaries of ICDS scheme were also invited.

They were sensitised to the disturbing realities pertaining to the rate of child abuse, the kind of atrocities child-abuse victims were subjected to, the supportive role of government machinery in preventing such abuse, and the psychological requirements of such children.

Presiding over the inaugural, the College Principal, Marcus Diepen Boominathan, specified the role of academicians in the process of rehabilitating victimised children. Awareness programmes must be given a thrust to prevent child abuse and other atrocities detrimental to the development of child, he said.

S. Revathi, ICDS Project Officer, said seventy per cent of children in India were being abused. With the rate of child abuse getting high, it was imperative for each citizen to stop such atrocities, she said. The Director of Childline Nodal Organisation Godwin Premsingh explained the nature of work undertaken by the organisation to safeguard children. Later handling a session, he listed the kinds of child abuse and the vulnerability of children.

A. Gopinath, retired Reader of the College’s Tamil Department, dwelt on the strategies to motivate the children, and presented guidelines for teachers to ensure the children’s healthy growth. While J. Ravikumar, Manager – Training, Asha Grama Vidiyal, explained the role of Juvenile Justice Board in preventing child-abuse crimes, Muthmaldevi, Member, Child Welfare Committee, Tiruchi, highlighted the role of the Committee in safeguarding and protecting the children. D. Balasubramaniyan, Childline Advisory Board Member and Psychiatrist, Saranya Hospital, sensitised the Anganwadi teachers to the method of addressing the psychological needs of the child-abuse victims.

The Director of SOCSEAD Rev. Sr. Maria Kamalam and A. Umesh Samuel, Reader, Department of Social Work, also addressed the gathering. Team members of Childline assisted A. Albert Manoharan, Coordinator, Childline Collaborating Agency SOCSEAD, to create awareness of through song and skit.