Child sex abuse: MP to submit petition to Maneka Gandhi today

Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar will on Tuesday meet Women and Child Welfare Minister Maneka Gandhi and submit a petition seeking the government's help to form a roadmap to address child sexual abuse.

IANS| Last Updated: Dec 01, 2015, 08:38 AM IST

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar will on Tuesday meet Women and Child Welfare Minister Maneka Gandhi and submit a petition seeking the government's help to form a roadmap to address child sexual abuse.

The petition launched by change.org in 2014 has been signed by nearly 2,00,000 people from across India.

The announcement was made at the end an open house discussion on prevention of child sexual abuse here.

Chandrasekhar said a National Coalition to Protect Our Children -- a civil society group -- will help the government frame a policy that will ensure safety and well-being of children.

On the issue of child sexual abuse, actress Pooja Bedi cited instances in her own family and even her own victimisation.

"We don't focus enough on the solution. What happens to a child when he/she is sexually abused, not just affects them but also their family. So a solution which can be fully implemented needs to be brought in," she said.

Rashmi Saxena, joint secretary in the ministry, said: "There is a film that the ministry is trying to screen in every school to help kids understand what is a good touch and a bad touch. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and police are working together."

NGOs such as Aarambh, HAQ Centre for Child Rights, The Rahi Foundation and Equal Rights Activist expressed their support to the initiative.

Harish Iyer, who was sexually abused as a child, said: "According to a study conducted in 2007, boys are more vulnerable (to child sexual abuse) than girls. Not many people have openly spoken about it."

Iyer said he, designer Ganesh Nallari, and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap have been very outspoken about child sexual abuse. "So we need to break this taboo," he said.

According to a sample study conducted by the ministry, 53 percent children in India have been subjected to some form of sexual abuse. Every fifth child has faced severe sexual abuse.