Make Personal Safety Education compulsory for all schools in Maharashtra

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*Trigger Warning : Content contains references to sexual assault which may be distressing to some* 

I did not receive Personal Safety Education when I was in school; when I was 4 years old, I experienced sexual assault, my world changed, I was traumatised. The abuse continued into my school years with no help in sight. The experience compromised my school performance. I don't want other young students to experience what I went through. 

The National Crime Records Bureau states that the incidents of child rape have increased by 82% since 2015, with sexual abuse.

In Maharashtra alone, cases of sexual offences against minors have seen a a 19% increase from 891 cases in 2016, to 1,062 cases in 2017-18.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights stated that crimes against children in India have increased by almost 300% over the past 6 years; over half of those crimes have involved sexual assault. 

I am one of those survivors, my experience of childhood sexual abuse is only one out of thousands of experiences. My school did not have personal safety education, or resources I could share my pain and trauma with. 

I appeal to you therefore, to make Personal Safety Education mandatory in all schools in the state of Maharashtra. 

With an age-appropriate Personal Safety Curriculum, not only students, but also parents and teachers will be able to understand the importance of consent and body autonomy, and in the event of an incident, will have resources/trusted people to turn to for help under POCSO. 

No child deserves to have their life and potential destroyed by such a heinous act. Children have the right to say No, and it is our duty as Indians, to empower them with proper awareness and education. 

Please join me in implementing Mandatory Personal Safety Education in all schools in Maharashtra. 

Let us stand for the young citizens of this nation and ensure that they are protected from the permanent scars of sexual abuse.