The day children painted and learnt about body safety
Colorothon has become an integral part of Bangalore’s calendar for all the right reasons. It allows thousands of children to express their creativity via colours in a fun environment. It is not at all surprising that the event is shattering many global records, including the number of paintings done in a single day.
Colorothon 2016 provided the Faith Foundation a magnificent opportunity to reach out to the thousands of participating Bangalore kids in a single day. A spate of child sex abuse scandals has marred the reputation of our city, and it is imperative that we teach our children how to combat abusers who lurk in our midst.
With this end in mind, we ran a booth in Colorothon 2016, which coincided with India’s Republic Day. So in addition to having fun, the children present learnt that their body belongs to them and that they can take action against those who attempt to touch their private parts. We conducted one training session on stage with a few hundred children in attendance, and then conducted more than a hundred mini training sessions with children who dropped by our booth to sign our graffiti wall.
Our event partners Compassionate clowns regaled the children via skits and engaging conversations. As always, they epitomized the worldview that warmth is the key to happiness.
Meanwhile, slogans like “The world should touch children’s hearts, not their private parts” and “Happy children today, safer society tomorrow” resonated with adult caregivers of children who also listened intently to our training sessions.
It takes a mere 30 minutes to empower a child against sexual abuse. And yet, many families ignore the threat posed by this silent menace in our society. 53% of children in India are sexually abused, a statistic that cuts across religions, class, caste, language and regional barriers. 90% of abusers belong in the child’s inner circle, which makes the need for abuse awareness crucial. We need more organizations and more trainers working on this issue. That’s why we periodically conduct “train-the-trainer” programs that will help spread the message.
Colorothon 2016 was a significant milestone in the journey of the Faith Foundation. But the journey ahead of us is long and arduous. It also promises to be rewarding. We want to conduct hundreds of training sessions in 2016 alone. We seek the support of citizens, educational institutions, apartment complexes, corporate houses, concerned citizens and the media to help us on this journey.
Together, we can make Bangalore truly safe for children.