Vidya Fights Against Child Sexual Abuse
OUR FILM stars have taken quite a turn from ad endorsements to social campaigns lately. Each one seems to have chosen at least one cause that’s close to their heart and are leaving no stone unturned to spread awareness about the issue. The socially conscious Vidya Balan has joined hands with Mumbai-based non-profit organisation Arpan and become their Goodwill Ambassador to work on the issue of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). Talking about her association with Arpan, Vidya says, “I first connected with Arpan during the filming of Kahaani 2 to understand the issue better and get into the skin of my role. I was amazed by the kind of work Arpan does on the issue especially working with children across age groups and their caregivers to prevent Child Sexual Abuse and heal survivors from the trauma of such an ordeal. As a society, it is critical that we look at how such a social evil can be prevented and how each of us can play a role in keeping children safe. Given the current scenario in our country, now more than ever there is a need for all us to step up and work towards preventing Child Sexual Abuse.” With the ever-increasing reports of child sexual abuse, there is still a limited acceptance that CSA happens and that it has a significant impact on children. Arpan is one of the largest NGOs in India with over 100 social workers and counsellors providing prevention and intervention services to children and adults to address the issue of CSA. Over the last 10 years, Arpan has reached out to over 188,000 children, adolescents and adults directly, also training over 3,500 professionals across India. “My message to everyone is that don’t think that Child Sexual Abuse is something that happens to other’s children. The unfortunate truth is that it could happen to your child or it could be happening to someone else’s child. We all need to be vigilant. We all need to be aware and acknowledge when we see the signs. We need to educate our children so that when they experience an unsafe situation, they are empowered enough to get away and seek help from a trusted adult,” Vidya states.