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Life skills can help fight sexual abuse of children: Dr Swaroop Sampat

Sep 03, 2013

Bollywood actress and former Miss India, Dr Swaroop Sampat Rawal, in a short talk with OneWorld South Asia explains how life skills education equips children to fight against the odds in their lives. She was in Delhi to attend the 24th Tara Ali Baig Memorial Lecture. Excerpts from the interview.

Dr Swaroop

OneWorld South Asia: What kind of a role does life skills education plays in the development of a child?

Dr Swaroop Sampat Rawal: Everybody needs life skills and not just children. It is more necessary for children because life skills include communication skills, skills of empathy, understanding emotions, problem solving and decision making.

Empathy can help to bring down violence in our daily life.

OneWorld South Asia: How grim do you think is the child sexual abuse scenario in India?

Dr Swaroop: Child sexual abuse scenario is terrible in this country. We need life skills to address this challenge of sexual abuse of children.

What is required is that we should stop the incidents like the Delhi-gangrape-case to happen. The present laws are good enough only to help the victim once the assault has taken place. Life skills can help prevent such an assault in the first place.

OneWorld South Asia: Why in your opinion despite all progress and education, child marriages still take place in India?

Dr Swaroop: Socio-economic reasons are to be blamed for the child marriages. Unless the government ensures the basic necessities for the deprived people, social evils like child marriages will continue to haunt our society.

Child labour also flourishes in this country because hungry children are forced to work and earn their livelihood.

OneWorld South Asia: What kind of role can education play for the empowerment of children?

Dr Swaroop: Education is very important for the development of children. Formal education has failed because of its bad condition. Formal education is important but what is wrong is the way education is being imparted to children.

OneWorld South Asia: How can empowerment of women bring a positive change for children in the society?

Dr Swaroop: Empowerment of women is closely linked to the development of children. I strongly believe that if the women are empowered, children are also empowered in the process.

A mother cannot help her children if she gets violated every day and cannot make them strong.

OneWorld South Asia: How can life skills education help to improve the health of children?

Dr Swaroop: Life skills education enables a child to lead a healthy lifestyle and a healthy lifestyle helps a child to stay healthy.

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