(Written by Ashna Butani)
Ever since the North West district of Delhi Police implemented the ‘Naazuk’ programme in February, 27 workshops have seen theatre being used as a tool to teach children about good touch and bad touch. “After a workshop in April, a child reported that her brother used to sexually assault her. We arrested him,” said Vijayanta Arya, DCP, North West district.
On Saturday, children aged 5-12 walked out of the workshop held at a JJ colony with a resolve to report unwanted gestures by those around them. “I ensured both my grandsons attended the session, even though they had to miss tuition,” said Manju Jain.
The DCP said: “We ensure children of both genders are present because even boys of this age are vulnerable. Theatre performances are based on two-three common themes — one about a young girl getting lured by a man, another about a boy, one on public spaces and one about home,” said the DCP. The workshops are conducted in areas with high incidence of child assault cases.
After the performance, ACP Indira Wati explained the play to the children, while sub-inspector Sushila asked them how they thought such incidents should be reported. All 150 children participated.
A girl who studies in Class V said: “There was a boy who used to tease a girl, but she did not complain about it, so he continued doing it. That is why we should complain, so it stops once and for all.”
After the workshop, children gathered around SI Sushila and presented their concerns. “What if someone pretending to be a parent calls us out of school to lure us?” asked a group of boys, to which she replied that parents and children could use code words.
“One of the positive impacts of these workshops is that children retain every detail. In May, a girl was assaulted in Jahangirpuri. Her friend, who had previously attended a workshop, described the accused and helped us identify him from CCTV footage,” said the DCP.