The Breeze, that fragrance…

This blog post is for a blogging contest by Godrej.

Fragrances bring sweet memories. When we have to talk about fragrances
and memories, there is not one we can mention. There are many such
fragrances which are present at different places, which bring different
memories.

The one I am talking is the breeze of trees and the fragrance of flowers
which welcomed me during the winter season in Mysore. The path was from
Manasa Gangotri ( mysore university campus) till our SJCE college in
Mysore.

Road to Sjce, Mysore

Road to Sjce, Mysore

we used to have classes in the early morning, the road used to be empty
with occasional passersby, most of them used to be students from our
college. And thankfully the days were good enough to enjoy a lonely
drive in the solitary path.

In those early mornings, some times the rain drizzling, I would go to my
college in my ‘Chal meri Luna’ among those trees and flowers enchanting
the eyes and the mind.

Gone are those days, never to return. Will there be any such ride, when
I am going alone in the nature’s free exhibition, not to be worried by
the responsibilities behind..??

NIMHANS Advisory on Child Abuse

Dear friends,

You may be a parent, an employee or an employer. It is very much important that we are aware how to tackle situations like Child Abuse, if it happens around us.

Child Abuse

Child Abuse

Here are some guidelines by NIMHANS Bangalore.

National Institute of Mental Health And Neuro-Sciences has sent an advisory to schools, parents, police and media to enable them to deal with a case of child sex abuse, in the right way.

Many a times, schools and parents do not know how to deal with Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). The result is delayed complaints / no complaints, destruction of concrete evidence unknowingly, not caring for the identity and dignity of the child enough, insensitive media coverage etc., which come in the way of delivering justice and to the traumatised child and family and getting their life back on track.

National Institute of Mental Health And Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) has prepared an advisory which has many important points to be taken care of by everyone.

Need for a child-centric response to CSA

The continual reporting of child sexual abuse (CSA) by media, in the context of many recent events raises the challenge of how to tackle the national menace of this ‘silent violent epidemic’. A critical aspect of child protection, also a child public health issue, CSA warrants systemic approaches that are uncompromisingly child-centric.

Part of this has to do with preventive programs in schools and other childcare agencies. Focus on prevention has the potential to reduce sexual victimization and even sexual offences in the general population. However, when an event occurs, it is addressed by systems of criminal justice, police, schools, families, and healthcare, which generate a flurry of incoherent activity, albeit in good faith, thereby compromising the child’s best interests.

The major emphasis of these activities are directed towards the child ‘victim’ through enquiry, interrogation and intrusive detailing of the event to verify it and then bring the perpetrator to book. The balance between the need for justice and empowered rehabilitation of the child becomes precarious. There is thus an urgent need to develop a protocol-based systemic response ensuring that the child’s agenda i.e. healing and recovery, is at the core of it.

Over the past year, the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at NIMHANS has received several children with CSA issues. When they come for help, they are extremely overwhelmed after visits to the Child Welfare Committee, police station, the hospital; by then, the child has been subjected to questioning on multiple occasions and therefore to re-traumatization.

There are many areas which have to be systematically addressed namely, the child’s reaction to the abuse, ensuring the child’s immediate safety, medical and mental health needs of the child, the concerns of the family, including social stigma. On the other hand, there is a sense of urgency to in legal procedures. Towards this, there is an understandable emphasis by the police on evidence and enquiry processes and related pressure from media and civil society, raising questions on the timely nature and effectiveness of these processes.

What a child-centric response entails:

Based on our experience, NIMHANS believes that planned, protocol-based, comprehensive and sensitive care should be provided at all stages of intervention to victimized children. The primary goal is to create a system of investigation which is child friendly and in accordance with principles of child rights and protection.

Where can families go for help?

  • Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2013 (POCSO) mandates that the child be provided with emergency medical services (EMS) within 24 hours of filing the FIR. EMS are provided by state Registered Medical Practitioners (RMP) in government hospitals (Vani Vilas and Indira Gandhi Institute of Child health) and only in absence of such an agency should the child be referred to other sectors. Where the Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPU) work in collaboration with government hospitals, the detailed enquiry can be completed in one sitting rather than the child being interviewed multiple times.

  • Once the medical examination is done and there is medical evidence, what the Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS can offer is combined therapeutic and forensic interviewing to assist both the healing of the child and the necessary justice processes. This interviewing is done based on existing international protocols which are child-sensitive and can stand the scrutiny of court procedures.

In children with symptoms, we work through trauma by encouraging expression of feelings regarding the abuse, validating experiences, and teaching personal safety. In very young children, this is done through art and play work. We offer social interventions in order to help the family cope with the consequences of abuse, also facilitating liaison with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Centre for Child and Law (CCL) and legal aid services as necessary.  

  • It is important for parents to not ignore or undermine a child’s statements and innocuous remarks. When in doubt it would be prudent to corroborate the information from various sources. An open, supportive stance, assuming a position that child is right would be helpful to facilitate further disclosure on abuse. It would be judicious to err on the side of caution especially in face of long term consequences of CSA. It is also important not to blame the child. The support given by the parent helps in facilitating better healing of the victimized child.

School’s response

Preventive workshops, personal safety workshop, life skills education can help as preventive strategies. However, when an incident takes place the system should have a clear protocol for response. This protocol should entail the following:

  • Whether the CSA incident occurs within or outside the school premises, by school staff or others, especially if a child reports to anyone in the school, the school’s position must be one of acknowledgement and involvement.

  • Every school must have a pre-set response plan which should include:

    • An identified person (known to the children) who can respond in a sensitive and gentle manner to alleged instances of abuse reported by the child.

    • A next-level reporting authority (such as the principal) who will inform the parents.

    • The school should guide and make available to parents the first level medical and other facilities to seek assistance (described above).

  • Unless the school has a trained counselor or CSA expert, it should not attempt to interrogate the child. This needs to be done by trained experts, preferably in child mental health agencies such as NIMHANS or accredited comprehensive child response units.

  • The school needs to take a proactive stance with the concerned parents and other parents. They may also need to be alert to the impact on other children and get appropriate experts to do de-briefing as necessary.

  • Furthermore, preparation needs to be made to receive the child back to the school in natural and non-stigmatizing ways so that the child re-integrates comfortably.

Police involvement

  • In the immediate aftermath of trauma, when there is non-availability of a trained person within the police forces for sensitive interviewing of the child, they need to refer to an expert in agencies such as NIMHANS, where forensic interview protocols are followed in the context of  healing interventions.

  • Police need to be cognizant that interview processes involving children cannot be hastened as it can exacerbate the trauma and be detrimental to the child’s well-being. For instance, taking a child back to the scene of crime and asking him/her to explain/demonstrate what happened, causes the child to relive the trauma and could interfere with recovery; also, such pressure on the child is less likely to elicit accurate information.

  • They need to understand that there are robust acceptable methods of gathering forensic evidence to meet the immediate legal ends.

Media – good practice

Media should be proactive in responding to crisis in ways that instill hope and confidence in the public versus fueling cynicism as the latter may only serve to increase the child’s trauma, and the family’s fears of social stigma.

  • The media must protect the identity and privacy of the child. This includes allowing and enabling the family to pursue due medical and legal processes without heightening their trauma by repeated and sometimes intrusive queries.

  • It would be helpful for the media, at the time of query/ reporting, to assist the family with information about where medical, mental health and legal, paralegal services is available.

  • Reporting on CSA could emphasize systems and treatments available for assistance, and strongly present the child’s entitlement to healing. This can be done by providing an on-going feedback about recovery and rehabilitation of the child.

Contact:

Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS

E-mail: cpcnimhans@gmail.com; capnimhans@gmail.com

Telephone: 080-26995576; 26995351

VIBGYOR – POCSO ACT 2012

Dear friends,

following the incident at VIBGYOR Bangalore, its Charmain has been arrested. Here is a news article which talks about POSCO ACT and we all should know about it. I am copy pasting the content from 

http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/vibgyor-rustum-kerawala-arrested-bangalore-rape-case-posco

He has been booked under section 23 of Juvenile Justice Act for cruelty to the child, section 21 of the Prevention Of Children from Sexual Offences act (POCSO) act for not reporting rape to police, and section 201 of IPC for destroying evidence.

This means that Rustum Kerawala might face imprisonment upto seven years for destroying evidence of rape, if he is convicted. It also means that he will face imprisonment upto six months and/or fine, for wilfully neglecting the child and causing physical / mental harassment, and for not reporting rape to police or Child Welfare Committee.

“We are probing other staff members as part of investigations. We are trying to normalise the situation, and reopen the school on next Monday,” said Reddi. He added that all such cases should immediately be brought into the notice of the police.

When Citizen Matters asked whether there was enough forensic evidence in case of Mustafa, M N Reddi said, “We cannot reveal that.” When asked why is it taking so much time to arrest the second accused, Reddi said it was because it was a heinous crime and needs enough evidence.

Charges against Vigyor chairman under POSCO act

Section 21(2) of the POSCO law goes into offence comitted by heads of institutions such as the specific case of Vibgyor High School.

Any person, being in-charge of any company or an institution (by whatever name called) fails to report the commission of an offence in respect of a subordinate under his control, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine.  21(2)

Bangalore police have arrested Rustum Kerawala under Section 21, in addition to other IPC codes.

POCSO section 19 and 20 refer to rules regarding intimating the police, and punishment for the offence of not intimating.

Any person whether a parent, doctor, school personnel, who has any knowledge, or even apprehension of the fact that a sexual offence has been committed must notify the Special Juvenile Police Unit or the local police.” — 19(1)

Any person, who fails to report an offence or who fails to record such an offence (in this case it is the police unit who are suppose to record the case) shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine or with both. — 20(1)

The POSCO Act is a special law, which has not specified which offences are cognizable. Therefore to determine which of the POCSO Act offences are cognizable and non-bailable, reliance must be placed exclusively on Part II (Classification Of Offences Against Other Laws), First Schedule of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Whenever the punishment is less than three years of imprisonment, the offence would be non-cognizable and bailable. Any higher term of imprisonment beginning from three years and above would make such offence cognizable and non-bailable. Hence all sections are cognizable, with the exception of section 21 and 22 which are non cognizable and bailable offences.

What do other charges mean?

Police have slapped addition charges on Kerawala as part of his arrest, Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice law  and Section 201 of the IPC.

The charge on the juvenile justice law has to do neglect or wilful abandonment of the child likely to cause mental or physical suffering. The charge on IPC 201 is grave and has to do with destruction of evidence.

Section 201 in The Indian Penal Code

201. Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender — Whoever, knowing or having reason to believe that an offence has been committed, causes any evidence of the commission of that offence to disappear, with the intention of screening the offend­er from legal punishment, or with that intention gives any infor­mation respecting the offence which he knows or believes to be false; if a capital offence.—shall, if the offence which he knows or believes to have been committed is punishable with death, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine; if punishable with imprisonment for life.—and if the offence is punishable with 1[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, shall be punished with imprison­ment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine; if punishable with less than ten years’ imprisonment.—and if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for any term not extend­ing to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of the description provided for the offence, for a term which may extend to one-fourth part of the longest term of the imprisonment pro­vided for the offence, or with fine, or with both.

Example: Suppose A, knowing that B has raped the child, destroys the evidence of rape. If B is sentenced with life or death, A will get imprisonment upto seven years and a fine. If B is sentenced with imprisonment upto 10 years, A would get imprisonment upto three years and the fine. If A is sentenced for any period less than 10 years, B would get one-fourth of that sentence and fine.

Section 23 in The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000

23. Punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child.— Whoever, having the actual charge of, or control over, a juvenile or the child, assaults, abandons, exposes or wilfully neglects the juvenile or causes or procures him to be assaulted, abandoned, exposed or neglected in a manner likely to cause such juvenile or the child unnecessary mental or physical suffering shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or fine, or with both.

 

VIBGYOR School – Bangalore incident

Here is an update about the gruesome incident that took place in Vibgyor school Bangalore. A 6 year old child was raped by 2 teachers and the school authorities are not taking responsibility for kids. Here is the updates I got from a parent.

Update on vibgyor incident:Those who
cannot make it today…Here is update

      1. The incident took place on 2nd July and child of 1st grade was sexually assaulted by 2 school teachers.

      2. Two SPA coaches of school are involved in the incident i.e. Gymnastic Teacher and Western Dance Teacher

      3. The incident took place in main block of the school between 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM in some dark room

      4. School is trying to cover up the entire incident and not ready to take any responsibility. School is trying to prove that incident happened outside the school but police confirmed it happened in Main Block

      5. Possibility of more people being involved cannot be ruled out by police as the Aaya (maid) took the timeout and she only took the child to dark room and after that she only took the child to washroom for cleaning on the day of incident

      6. The SPA teachers assaulted child on the pretext of punishing her and threatened her of dire consequences after the incident

      7. Both the teachers are in police custody but not arrested yet8. The class teacher, Primary coordinator, SPA coordinator and other teachers are being questioned by the police. All SPA activities are suspended by the school sine die till the investigation is over.

      8. This is not the 1st incident but many parents highlighted & reported multiple cases of molestation and child abuse within Vibgyor premises in last few years….In-fact last week 1 girl student of 6th class was molested by swimming teacher in school. The gymnastic teacher who is arrested, there were multiple complaints in past against him for taking pics of girl child and molestation. If school would have taken action against Gymnastic teacher on time then this horrific incident could have been avoided.842_horamavu

      9. All parents were aghast and shocked by the attitude of school authorities…The principal was hiding behind and on top of it school authorities named the child in public domain which is a serious crime…Parents were concerned that any tom, dick and harry can be teacher in VIBGYOR HIGH and most of the teachers are working for pocket money…They are not trained teachers & just doing time pass…Send your kids at own risk till end of academic year….It was shocking to know experience of other parents and it is one of most dangerous schools in Bangalore with lot many untold stories of child molestation and abuse.
        Please pass on this message to all your friends through all what’s app groups… A protest march is organized against gang rape of 6 year child in Vibgyor High School, Marathalli, Bangalore on 19th July (Saturday) at 10 am. It will start from Vibgyor School, near kundalahalli gate, thubarahalli, Bangalore….this horrific incident is now covered by national media….please circulate on all What’sapp groups…it will be our small contribution to bigger cause and will help in making world a safer place for kids..

  1. Request all of you to spread this message. Let us join in the fight against such incidents. The school authorities and people involved have to be severely punished. It can happen only with our efforts.

Read the reviews on mouthshut here http://www.mouthshut.com/product-reviews/vibgyor-high-school-bangalore-reviews-925627445-srch

I just signed the petition “Karnataka Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar: Issue directive to all schools in Bangalore to impose security measures for the safety of children” on Change.org.

It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:

http://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/karnataka-education-minister-kimmane-ratnakar-issue-directive-to-all-schools-in-bangalore-to-impose-security-measures-for-the-safety-of-children?recruiter=130808255&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Thanks!

Thanks

Bindu

Conversation in Kannada Lesson 2 – At Bus Stop

Person 1 – Excuse me, do we get buses towards airport here? – (Kan) Excuse me, illige airportige hoguva bussugaLu baratta?

person 2 – sorry, I do not know. – (kan) Kshamisi. Nanage gottilla

Person 3  – It comes here. But you should wait on the other side of the road. – (kan) adu illige baruttade. aadare neevu rasteya aa badiyalli kaayabeku.

person 1 – oh, is it? ( kan) Oh, Houdaa?

person 1 – Do you know the bus numbers? – ( kan) nimage bussina number gaLu gotta?

Person 3 – all numbers with 18 go to airport. – (kan) hadinentarinda shuru aaguva ellaa bussugaLoo airportige hogottave.

Walking and Talking ads spotted in Nizampet

Talking ads – A new marketing concept

Today while waiting for my daughter near bus stop I saw these two boys who had tied these hoardings on their back and were talking with each other. At first glance it did not look very pleasant though. But I approached them and talked to them about their experience. They said it is nice. The concept was the idea of their boss. People do show interest, they come and talk to them about the product. They were also holding pamphlets which they gave to every prospect who showed interest in their product.

talking ads

bindumadhavi.wordpress.com

Its a novel idea as long as the marketing guys and gals enjoy doing it. Because if they look unhappy carrying that board on their back, it will not create a positive image of the product. Inturn if they look happy, then it is a better way to market as they can keep moving from one place to other, one street to other with that board.

print ads

Walking and Talking ads

In this particular photo they are carrying the ad of a pre-primary school. Thus daily they can stand near one or the other day care centers, other pre-primary schools, play schools, parks etc. Nobody can come and remove their hoarding, nor can they paste other ads on the board!!! That is a great advantage indeed isn’t it? Also it will create employment for jobseekers.

I feel this type of work will specially work for kids related products, if the person holding ad is found to be more attractive with balloons etc, they can promote more kids related products.