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.

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