An awareness session on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) was conducted by Mrs. Tejashri Shinde and Mr. Kshir Sagar, the Police Sub Inspectors (PSI) of MHB Colony, Police Station, Borivali West for the children and staff of Bosco Boys Home, Borivali on 03th November 2018 from 10.00 am to 11.30 am which was organised by Deacon. Romero D’Souza and the CWC staff.
Fr. Corlis Gonsalves, the Director of the Institute, welcomed them and thanked them for their kind initiative and service offered to the institute. The session was organised to make the children and the staff aware of the help offered to them by the Law to make the children feel free, happy and secure. The Director, while introducing the resource persons, Mrs. Tejashree Shinde and Mr. Kshirsagar said “They have not come to this place to scare us, but have come here to share their knowledge on the sensitive topic related to ‘Good touch and bad touch’ and in coming years they will give their full support of helping and empowering to our boys.”
The session started with PSI Shinde explaining to the children about The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act). The act was established to protect the children against offences like sexual abuse, sexual harassment and pornography. It was formed to provide a child-friendly system for trial underneath which the perpetrators could be punished. The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age. It also makes provisions for avoiding the re-victimisation of the child at the hands of the judicial system. In her talk, she explained to the children about good touch and bad touch and to be open and share their problems without any fear to their friends, staff or the management. She encouraged children not to hide things but to go for regular counselling to the house counsellor. She also spoke to the children about inner circle (parents/grandparents/ guardian/close friends/Teachers, Staff, Management) and outer circle (any stranger who we are not knowing or are uncomfortable) to which they can share their problems. She said, “When we go through any problems or bad situation in life, we can share it with our inner circle or you can contact or phone police 100 and 1098 (child line) who will come to help you in emergency.”
She emphasized to the children that the law and the Police are always ready to help them from danger but also stressed that if they are caught lying to the Law, then they are also liable for punishment. She even mentioned that the children’s belonging to age of 7 years are not treated as criminal due to their immaturity but children above 10 years if they commit mistake are treated as criminal because they are mature and are not innocent. She told the children to be good and not to steal, lie, fight or swear. She shared, “You children are very important. We love you and care for you. You should not be scared of police, we are here to protect and guide you, and since you are the future of the Society and it is our moral responsibility to help you to grow in all aspects of life. As children you should develop ‘good habit and moral values’ which will enable you to become good responsible citizens of the society.” She concluded her session by informing the children to treat her as part of their inner circle be open to share with any difficulty they come across. She promised the children that she will visit them every month.
“This session opened my eyes and also made me little scared. Now I will think twice before doing any wrong things. I will be a good boy.” shared Daniel Rodrigues one of the children.