Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: NCERT has published information about helplines for children in all course books from Class 6-12, giving around 26 crore school children access to them, the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry informed.
WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi had suggested the idea to Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar last year during a telephone conversation.
"The National Council Of Educational Research And Training (NCERT) has published the information regarding Childline (1098) 24x7 Helpline for children and POCSO e-box on the back side of the front cover of all course books from Class 6 to Class 12. To equip the children with the information regarding the possible modes of protection/complaints," the ministry said in a statement.
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Gandhi had requested her Cabinet colleague to popularise POCSO e-box and Childline 1098 through NCERT publications, screening of educational films on child sexual abuse in schools and having strict norms to employ the support staff.
Gandhi thanked the HRD Minister and NCERT for implementing her suggestion and stated that parents, guardians and teachers should remain vigilant about children as well as their behaviour. Any suspected situation should be reported immediately on the Childline No.1098 and the POCSO e-Box, the ministry said.
Through these course books, the information is expected to reach approximately 26 crore students in 15 lakh schools.
NCERT was also advised to include a chapter in social science subject regarding the issues mentioned above.
"The narrative may continue till Class 12 for having a reasonable impact on young minds. The information will not just reach these children, but is about to stay with them on daily basis. As a result, it is expected that the children will be more aware and they may use the Child Helpline or POCSO e-box, in case of any distress. The easy accessibility of this information in the hand of children themselves may also deter the prospective abusers, at least to a reasonable extent," the ministry said.
The information via these books will also be available to 10 lakh teachers along with the family members and care givers of these children.
[With PTI Inputs]