JAMMU NOVEMBER 30, 2020: Directorate of School Education Jammu, through its Counselling Cell today organized a mega ‘Mothers Centric Parent Teacher Meet (PTM) on POCSO Act and Child Sexual Abuse protection using both online and offline modes in all the schools of Jammu Division. marking the end of one month awareness campaign on provisions of the child protection law.

Around 1.08 Lakh stakeholders were sensitized covering students of Primary, Middle, High and Higher Secondary levels and their parents, specifically mothers. The mega outreach drive was organized as part of the month long awareness campaign on POSCO Act by the Directorate of School Education Jammu.

The campaign was launched in response to vulnerability of the children to sexual abuse during COVID-19 pandemic as the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) has revealed alarming statistics of crimes against children in India in its recent report.

Director School Education Jammu, Anuradha Gupta, expressed satisfaction over the successful completion of the month long awareness campaign. She said that the objective of the campaign was to make child protection activities sustainable by involving all the stakeholders. Congratulating the stakeholders involved in this campaign, she added that such events will go a long way in bringing the much needed social change and build up a healthy atmosphere for the children. She said that child sexual abuse is an issue which is rarely talked about in households as if it did not exist but the statistics reveal a completely different picture. “The most concerning and scary part of it is that in majority of cases the crime is committed by someone within the family or the trusted person making it impossible for the child to share it with parents” she said and added “It is therefore very important that parents, especially mothers, are made aware of the magnitude of the problem and also equipped with the knowledge of the legal provisions like POCSO Act which can help them protect their young ones.”

To generate mass awareness about child sexual abuse and POCSO Act, the DSEJ Counselling Cell had started the month long campaign. The Campaign witnessed panel discussions, counselling sessions, audio and video series by students and teachers contacting PRIs, publication of posters and advisories in newspapers right from the first week of November.

The Students from University departments who are doing internship training with counselling cell were also involved in this awareness programme.

As per counselling calendar, month of August in summer zone and month of June in winter zone has been fully devoted to Child protection issues.

“There is a dire need to scare the potential culprits by invoking the stringent possible punishment enshrined in the POCSO Act to eliminate the menace of child sexual abuse”, observed Romesh Kumar Sharma, Head Counseling Cell, DSEJ.

He informed the Psychological Task Force members that the Directorate will organise professional trainings to equip them in effectively handling cases of abuse and mange disclosure professionally.

Despite COVID-19 induced obstacles and ongoing exams in winter zone of Jammu Division, the campaign was quite successful looking at the huge response from remotest corners of the Jammu Division.

The schools from the far flung areas and hilly terrains like Poonch, Ramban, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Doda Kathua, Reasi, Udhampur showed overwhelming response in participation-cum-organizing this mega event.

The event witnessed great commitment on the part of the faculty counselors in particular and teacher fraternities in general like Head of the institutions, Psychological Task Force (PTF), District Nodal Officers (DNO), District Counselling Coordinators (DCC), Zonal Counselling Coordinators (ZCC), School Nodal Officers (SNO), Faculty Counselors under the overall supervision of respective Chief Education Officers.