Catalysts for Social Action

We work towards holistic care and optimum rehabilitation outcomes for every orphaned child. We promote, support, advocate and act as Catalysts to achieve these objectives. We are an unstoppable force inspiring and channelizing action to bring about sustainable social change.
Aug 14, 2014

Safe and Unsafe touch....

Safe unsafe touch session in Maharashtra
Safe unsafe touch session in Maharashtra

In 2007, the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, released a study on Child Abuse that opened the country’s eyes to the enormity of the problem.
Some statistical data about child sexual abuse:
•  53.22% children in India are reported to be sexually abused, in a study by the Ministry of Women and Children Development
•  In the same study, out of above mentioned number 50% had been abused by people who they knew or were held in a position of trust and responsibility
•  52.94% were boys and 47.06% were girls
•  According to UNICEF, across the world, more than 150 million girls and 70 million boys have witnessed forced sexual intercourse or other forms of violence involving physical contact

It is important to empower children with appropriate knowledge and this is one of the first steps towards prevention and protection against sexual abuse. Specifically in the case of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Prevention becomes the most important pillar, because if the case reaches the intervention stage where the child has already been abused ,the damage is done. The scars of abuse last a lifetime and affect many areas of the child's life including relationships, professional life etc. The experience of abuse can lead to anxiety disorders, substance abuse and depression also.
(Source: CHILDLINE India Foundation)

With this critical point in mind, Catalysts for Social Action initiated workshops on Safe & Unsafe Touch with all children at children’s homes in the age group of 6-14 years of age.  Our staff also attended workshops by CHILDLINE India that train volunteers in running sessions with children in schools on ‘Child Sexual Abuse’ Awareness.

Aim of sessions was to -
* Inform children about the various forms of safe and unsafe touch
* Give children necessary information to prevent abuse
* What should children do in case they are faced with such situations of potential abuse

The workshop consisted of a presentation and screening of video ‘Komal’ (Childline India), a brilliantly conceived short film on child sexual abuse.

The workshops were well received by children as well as caretakers & trustees and this is being seen as an important step towards ensuring that children are equipped with necessary information in order to prevent such incidents.

Safe unsafe touch session @ Goa
Safe unsafe touch session @ Goa
Aug 13, 2014

THE HOMECOMING

A happy family....
A happy family....

Being a parent has changed our lives in more ways than one. Our little bundle of joy, our baby daughter has lit up our life ever since she became part of it on that memorable day

 It was around the middle of 2012. in those days I was based out of Pune . One fine day, while at work, I was casually chatting to a colleague of mine, who mentioned in passing that one of her two daughter was adopted. That caught my attention, as we had also been planning to adopt a daughter for some time. Unfortunately for us, the adoption agencies we had contacted in and around Kolkata (my hometown) had informed us that we would have to wait for at least a couple of years.

 I asked my colleague some further details. She was most helpful. She provided me the contact details of CSA & gave me Lucy's contact number, so that I could speak to her. We were very excited thinking of the prospect of becoming parents to a lovely little baby. At the same time, we had a lot of concerns & queries about the whole process of adoption, what were the different steps involved and so on.

 As it turned out, we need not have worried at all. Lucy put me in touch with couple of agencies with whom I could liaise, and take things forward. The paperwork is very detailed so that there are no difficulties later on. We finshed the paperwork, and soon after that an officer from the agency came & visited our home at Kolkata. Within a few weeks of that we came to Latur & visited the agency.

 Finally we saw our baby. It was the most wonderful thing possible when we held her in our arms for the first time. It took a couple of days more to finish legal formalities, but thereafter we brought her home for foster care. From that day on, she was our daughter (we did have to return twice in the next three months though for legal formalities.

 Like I have mentioned before, adopting a baby was the best decision we could have taken. Our daughter has changed our lives in more ways than we could have imagined. She is the light of our lives, we cannot imagine a day without her.        

May 28, 2014

Turning point

Tailoring class batch
Tailoring class batch

Vishakha (name Changed) was bought to the observation home for Girls Pune at the age of 14 yrs. She was found by the railway police on Pune railway station all alone crying. She was very frightened and scared when the police started asking her questions. She refused to give any answer. As a matter of safety she was enrolled in Observation home for girls. She used to be very shy and quite. May be wondering what is going to happen with her?
Catalysts for social Action (CSA) had taken up the activity to run tailoring class at this Child care institute for the girls especially for those who are school drop outs. Her stay in Observation home for girls and session with psychologists revealed that she has left her schooling after 5th Grade (4 yrs back) After that she never tried to read and write. Since she could not do well in her formal schooling she was sent to attend the tailoring class run by CSA. But there too she could not do well as it was difficult for her to understand to take the measurements and do proper cutting. The instructor of the tailoring class then has to teach her the ruler first and then some basic calculations. Vishakha fund this very boring and so difficult that she started missing the class and whenever she used to attend she used to pay less attention.
Tailoring instructor then changed her policy and started doing cutting of clothes for Vishakha and asked her to just stitch cuttings done by the instructor. Vishakha was very happy as she could run the sewing machine and finish the task before other girls do it. Other girls used to spend time for learning cutting and then start stitching whereas in Vishakha's case whatever used to come to her she used to just run the sewing machine over it. After few days the instructor made her realized that only stitching faster than then others will not help her to make her own dress independently as the other girls were doing.
Vishakha took the challenge as she had experienced the joy of finishing the task before others, she wanted to overcome the lacuna and be the expert. She now showed her interest and spends extra time with the instructor. This made her expert and confident that she started stitching clothes even after the class is over. She stitched frocks to all the younger girls in the Home. Meanwhile her interaction with Child Welfare committee and Staff from children home made the police officials to find her parents. Her parents are informed and very soon they are going to come to take her back. But Vishakha wants to stay few more days in the children’s home so that she completes her course. She is confident that sfter going back to the small town to which she belongs, she will start tailoring of her own and will be a helping hand for her poor parents.
Vishakha admits that this course of 3 months, surly is the turning point in her life……

Girls are learning
Girls are learning

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