Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Mahila Samakhya Society, an organisation working for the empowerment of women, will start learning centres for adolescent boys in coastal areas to prevent them from becoming victims of sexual abuse in tourist destinations. The learning centres, a novel initiative of the society that functions under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, will create awareness among boys in the age group of 7-18 years regarding their rights, apart from providing reading and learning materials to the students.

“The centres will start functioning in colonies adjoining the beach areas in Athiyannoor block panchayat soon,” said Seema Bhaskaran, State project director of the Society. The decision to launch the centres in the region was taken following a slew of complaints from local residents that boys from the region were being sexually-exploited by a section of the foreign tourists for financial favours.

The police had registered a case against an 80-year-old man from Switzerland on charges of abusing children at Kovalam recently.