Keeping the kids safe

During November the Siliguri Metropolitan Police got in touch with CINI and Childline for organizing awareness and interface programs on Protection Issues with children from vulnerable government schools. The schools were Siliguri Deshbandhu Vidyapeeth Girls High School, Dr, Rajendra Prasad Girls High School, and Nepali Girls High School.

CINI facilitated the programs in all the schools. The Commissioner- Siliguri Metropolitan Police attended the program and encouraged the children to remove the fear of the Police. She explained that the Police are there to help them and not harm them. Also she stressed that if any kind of abuse and exploitation takes place, then immediately the crime needs to be reported. She requested the children not to stay silent to any form of abuse and exploitation. She also encouraged the children to remain safe and alert and speak the truth.

Furthermore, the cyber crime department police personnel gave training on Cyber Crime to the children and spoke to them about how to use technology in a safe way. For the children, special focus was given on how Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter etc and other social media sites can be harmful if not used carefully and correctly. Instances were shared whereby children especially girls have fallen prey to abuse and exploitation because of mis-use of social media. The police asked not to add single photos on social media but as an act of precaution to put up group photos. The children were asked not to put up their phone numbers on social sites. Also, other cyber crimes like the ones through ATM, hacking of passwords, etc were also discussed.

At the end of each program there was an interface between the children and the police whereby the children asked questions to the police with regards to their safety. Also children shared with the officials about safe and unsafe places in the surrounding areas of their schools. Many children asked for the emergency numbers from the police. The Siliguri Women’s PS contact number was shared with the children. Also they were asked to look into the website of the Siliguri Metropolitan Police. The session was interactive as children asked questions to the officials as per their Right and they got to learn a lot through the interactive session.