BCC Balika Chethana Programme Committees Formation Guidelines: We need a secure and safe environment for girls everywhere at home at schools and outside of the home. Child sex abuse has become rampant in society. To ensure safeguard children from all sorts of oppression and discrimination, we need to form Balika Chethana committees in all schools to tackle girl child-specific problems in general and problems in continuing education giving stress on child abuse.
The aim of forming the Balika Chethana committees (BCC) at schools is to create a space for girls where they can discuss their day to day problems freely with a friendly teacher.
Balika Chetana Programme Objectives
- Enable girl child to face the miseries and problems in life.
- Teachers should be trained on awareness of girl child-related problems, counseling the girl child and helping them in decision making.
- Identifying the problems of every girl child and the steps to be taken to solve them.
- Awareness of child rights, child marriages, discrimination, and violence.
- Enabling girls to have higher aims and forwarding to achieving them.
- Awareness and discussing the various incidents/happening related to girls highlighted in Newspapers, TV, etc.
- Encouraging girls for the school development, preserving nature and plantation.
- Awareness girls protecting the environment, social responsibilities utilization of the natural resources and making them available for the future generations
- Awareness of their future and behaving themselves accordingly.
- Enrolling the drop-outs.
- Facilitating the girl-friendly atmosphere in schools.
- Encouraging girls to finish school education up to 10th.
- To achieve the above objectives the girls are to be given the following life skills.
a. Good habits
b. Critical and Creative thinking
c. Decision-making problem-solving.
d. Imparting communicative skills
f. Empathy and Team work
g. Coping with the stress
i. Possessing Managerial skills
j. Awareness on adolescencent health and reproduction
Various problems girls may face in and outside home and at school are:
- Problems to come to school regularly- house hold chores, younger sibling’s responsibility, discouragement by family members and frequent health problems.
- Harassment/eve teasing by village lumpens while coming to school.
- Menstrual problems and not having clean toilets at school.
- Any sexual abuse by family members.
- Indecent talking by elder students and teachers.
- Derogatory comments by other children and teachers or by villagers on the way to school.
- Child marriage preparations at home.
Formation of the Balika Chethana committees (BCC):
- School head (Head Master) after consulting all teachers in the school should form this committee.
- A lady teacher who is friendly with children will be made head of this committee.
- Doctor/ANM from PHC who visits schools regularly can also be one of the members so that she/he can investigate gynae problems and other health problems whether they are caused by child sexual abuse.
- One girl student from each class from 3rd class onwards will be members of this committee. 2 girls each can be taken from 7th and 8th classes.
- In the case of high schools, 2 girls each can be included from class 9th and 10th. So this will be a committee headed by a lady teacher.
Balika Chethana committee’s (BCC) functioning modalities: BCC Balika Chethana Programme Committees Formation Guidelines
- This committee should hold a meeting once in a month.
- The teacher needs to take an active role here asking children about above-said problems.
- The teacher should enquire each member’s child in a nurturing way whether they are facing any abuse at school or at home by family members (father, grandfather, brother, uncles, etc.).
- And make the member children share their own as well as their classmate’s problems in this matter (child abuse) freely.
- The teacher should explain to committee members what child abuse is, discrimination is so that the children can explain what exactly is happening with them.
- Tell them about good touch and bad touch, when is a touch considered as bad touch, i.e. which parts of the body.
- To bigger children, how to address harassment/eve-teasing, abuse, child marriage, etc.
- Apart from this, the teacher should enquire about the problems children are facing in coming to school regularly, in doing homework, health problems and about any child marriage instances in school as well as in the village.
- Any serious problem will be immediately reported to the headmaster and to SMC or to concerned higher officials. The problem must be dealt with immediately.
- Every school must display toll-free child helpline number 1098. The teacher should explain when children can use the number.
- Apart from these, gender stereotype activities must be discouraged in the schools that means
a. girls should not do this and that girl should not walk or talk like this or girls should do only certain activities,
b. boys should not do girly things if a boy cries telling him that why is he crying like a girl etc must be discouraged
c. Telling them that sweeping cleaning etc are not girls work but boys works also. Change the understanding that girls should train in household duties only.
d. Boys reading out News and Girls reciting prayers/singing shall be changed both boys and girls should do any work.
Training to teachers who lead these committees:
One day orientation programme on child abuse, gender discrimination, girl sensitive environment, etc can be conducted during teachers’ training. Appropriate literature, the material is made available for teachers to understand this concept in the training.
Persons who are well known in dealing these aspects should be the resource person for the training of teachers. So these resource persons can be selected from different women’s organizations (NGOs) or professors from woman’s studies department of UoH or any other University or professionals from Women and child welfare department who have orientation on this subject or can be our own teachers who have good knowledge and exposure on this matter.