13th October 2017

Good Touch Bad Touch - Oct 2017

In light of recent disturbing events in the news, it is very important that children are taught, from a young age, the difference between right and wrong, what is appropriate and what is not. They shouldn’t allow anyone to touch their private parts, and should keep them covered and safe in public spaces, including at school. It is also important to teach children about respect for their own body space.

With this aim of educating children to respect their bodies, understand a good touch and know about bad touches that Mrs. Amruta Fadnavis – Banker, singer, social worker and Advisor of the Divyaj Foundation – organized the ‘Good Touch, Bad Touch’ workshop for students of Sharda Mandir High School, Girgaum which is run by the Lodha Foundation. This workshop was held in association with the Lodha Foundation and the Usha Sanjay Kakade (USK) Foundation on 13th October 2017.

Conducted by two experienced counsellors, the workshop was split in 2 sessions. Session 1 was a 45-minute workshop for younger students from nursery, junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten. Session 2 was a 90-minute workshop for students from the primary section of the school. This was done to address the different capacities of both age groups.

The session for pre-primary students aimed at making them understand their body parts and to know how to differentiate between a good touch and a bad touch. With the help of audio-visual aid, short stories and examples, the counsellors taught these children that:
• Each child should be made aware of what a good touch is and what a bad touch is
• How a child should identify and respond in case of a bad touch
• And after alarms are raised about a bad touch, how should adults and the society at large address and react to it

For the slightly older primary students, different audio-visual aid including props and various charts were incorporated in their session to provide for a deeper understanding of the concepts, and the dos and don’ts.

This workshop was attended by the whole school including all the teachers, management and trustees. Participating in the workshop from Divyaj Foundation were Mrs. Amruta Fadnavis, Mr. Sampath Iyer – Managing trustee, Mrs. Pallavi Shrivastava – Trustee, Mr. Kavin Shah – State Secretary, BJP and Mrs. Rajalakshmi Iyer – Core member.

The counsellors had an open communication after the sessions with the children where questions were asked and various points of the program and its understanding was touched upon. The counsellors explained that it is imperative to keep channels of communication open between children and their parents, and for children to know what to do even when a known person touches them, and how to respond and that they must report the incident to someone immediately. Awareness always leads to prevention and better outcomes. Constantly reinforcing the idea that their body is their own, and they have every right to protect it is a very important point that was discussed.

Both sessions were very interactive and covered what constitutes ‘good touch’ and what a ‘bad touch’ is. A ‘good touch’ can be seen as a way for people to show they care for each other and help each other (i.e., hugging, holding hands, changing a baby’s diaper, etc.). A ‘bad touch’, on the other hand, is the kind you don’t like and want to stop right away (e.g. hitting, kicking, or touching private parts). The counsellors taught the kids some ground rules for safety and reiterated that it is not okay for anyone to look at or touch their private parts, that is, the area covered by their underwear.

Divyaj Foundation 2018

This workshop afforded a good opportunity to talk to students about this important and sensitive subject. From teachers and coaches, to those who run extra-curricular programmes, children are constantly interacting with other adults (and other children) on a daily basis. Children must therefore be familiar with a set of safety rules — they must also know who to talk to should an incident occur. This workshop definitely offered deep insight for all the attending children on this subject.