An app to break the ice with children on safety issues

Updated - September 22, 2016 06:39 pm IST

Published - September 11, 2016 12:00 am IST - Bengaluru:

Karnataka : Bengaluru , 10/09/2016  Surakshith app that has been developed by UNICEF and ENFOLD regarding child safety

Karnataka : Bengaluru , 10/09/2016 Surakshith app that has been developed by UNICEF and ENFOLD regarding child safety

Difficult conversations with children are a part of parenthood, but there’s help in the form of an app that teaches children about appropriate and inappropriate touch. To help parents and children access information about child safety, Enfold Proactive Health Trust, in association with UNICEF, has launched the ‘Surakshith App’.

It has illustrations and manuals on how to identify safe and unsafe touch, internet safety guidelines and personal body safety rules. Another feature of the app is the personal age-appropriate safety stories.

Sangeeta Saksena, co-founder of Enfold, said that they are designed to help children understand the perpetrator’s enticing approach. “It also aims to help children realise that the blame and shame of the crime rests on the abuser,” Dr Saksena added. She pointed out that the aim is not only to recognise abuse when it happens but also to report abuse.

According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics for 2015, 273 cases were registered in the city under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which is the highest in the country. Experts have pointed out that this indicates the existence of a robust reporting mechanism.

The app has content that is developed for parents and children aged between six to 18 years. It is available in 11 Indian languages, including Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. It is available on Google Play store. The technical aspects of the app have been developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), an organisation under the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

Several parents feel that an app like this would help them break the ice with their children and talk about the ‘sensitive topic’.

Swaroopa R., who has two daughters aged six and 10, said, “I have always been unsure of how to introduce the topic of good and bad touch to them. Having an app like this will be a useful tool in talking about such an important issue.”

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