It looks like a simple children’s book, with illustrations, colours and short stories, but those who will read the book will realise the importance of the message it carries.
‘Save the Children’, an NGO, has come out with two books — one for children and another for teachers and counsellors — that talk about child abuse and the ways to recognise its indications.
The book is based on an international study carried out by the United Nations (UN) on how children face abuse around the world in strikingly similar manners and places. This includes physical punishment, verbal abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and bullying.
The books will be available in seven Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu, Oriya and Telugu. Save the Children will distribute the books in schools across the country.
The book for children talks about what constitutes abuse or violence. Accepted and unacceptable forms of punishment are discussed along with their consequences.
The book also talks about the important and sensitive topic of sexual abuse. In a quiz and a story about sexual abuse, the book reiterates that abuse is not the fault of the child.
What will make the book interesting for children is the colourful presentation, full of illustrations and interactivity.
As part of the UN study, children took part in meetings all over the world to discuss ways to stop violence against children. Children, overwhelmingly, said they wanted to be involved when adults plan and take actions against violence.
The book also has two inspirational stories about children who were victims of sexual abuse and child marriage and how children of their age helped them. The book for educators talks about planning training sessions with children and the ways to increase awareness about violence.
"This is a very important book in terms of making sure that children are safe in their homes and schools," said a principal of a government school in south Delhi, who has seen a copy prior to its release.