Fighting Child Abuse is her Top Priority
- Pallavi Priya
- Published on 20 Nov 2020, 6:02 pm IST
- 4 minutes read
Fighting against child abuse is the mission of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Saroj Kumari. This is one crime she wants to eliminate, and has made several initiatives in this direction.
Child sexual abuse is a serious problem in the world, and India is not immune to it. Every now and then, one hears about these gruesome crimes. They not only affect the victims’ childhood but in many cases leave a scar which remains within them all their lives.
Fortunately, many people in or society are fighting the menace of child abuse tooth and nail. One such person is an IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, Ms Saroj Kumari. At present posted as DCP (Administration), Surat, she has started the ‘Samajh Sparsh ki’ campaign to make children and parents aware about the “good touch and bad touch’’ of other people and to keep them safe from any kind of abuse. The campaign was so successful that aother campaign on these lines has been started by the Gujarat Government- and Ms Kumari is its nodal officer.
In the exclusive interview with Indian Masterminds, Ms. Kumari talks about her own struggles, initiatives, and aspirations, as also about her immensely popular campaigns against child abuse.
SAMAJH SPARSH KI
While being posted in Vadodara, she started the campaign named ‘Samajh Sparsh ki’ (Know the Different types of Touches) to fight with crime against children. “My heart aches when I hear about stories of child sexual abuse. In cities and towns, children are still somewhat aware, but in rural areas, they are often unaware and therefore suffer more. These crimes happen in houses, schools or on the way to school. One can’t keep eyes on the children for 24 hours. So, their safety can be ensured only if the children talk about everything that has happened with them. This is only possible with awareness. They should be able to identify what is good touch and what is bad”, says Ms. Kumari.
For the campaign, she selected few members of the police and started to organize workshops in schools and neighborhoods. In very short period, hundreds of people joined the campaign and it became successful in the public.
The state government also recognized her effort and launched an extensive program for the safety of children & women together. The initiative is named ‘ Kavach- Samajh Sparsh ki’ and Ms. Kumari has been appointed as the nodal officer. The campaign is dedicated to help children and women to fight against sexual abuse and harassment.
Other than this, Ms. Kumari has also started the ‘Nirbhaya squad’ for curbing incidents of eve-teasing & sexual harassment of women.
RESCUED SEX WORKERS
The 2011 batch officer who hails from Rajasthan was also posted as the SP, Botad. There, in 2016-17, she launched the project ‘Ujaas’ for the rehabilitation of female sex workers. At first, she rescued around 35 sex workers in which many of them were suffering from STD. Under the project, they were provided medical assistance, counseling and after that, they were given training for employment. Some of them were also roped in ‘Gram Rakshak Dal’. With the efforts of Ms. Kumari, they are all leading a happy and safe life today.
FOR THE BETTERMENT OF CHILDREN AND SENIOR CITIZENS
Ms. Kumari comes from a lower-middle-class family and has seen almost every struggle of life. Her father retired from the army when she and her siblings were very young. The pension was very less, and all of them had to work hard in farms to support the family. While the economical struggle was already there, Ms. Kumari also had to fight with all the social pressures to reach where she is now. Her story of aspiring for IPS is also very interesting. She says, “At that time we didn’t have enough money to afford newspaper or television. I had no idea about civil services, but I think it was my destiny that one day I got a newspaper cutting while working in the fields. It was an article about Kiran Bedi (herself a celebrated IPS of India). Then I decided to be like her someday, and by the grace of God, my dream got fulfilled.”
Now that Ms Kumari has become an officer she always wanted to be, she wants to work towards the betterment of peopl especially the children and senior citizens.
END OF THE ARTICLE