Toastmasters – Project#3 – GET TO THE POINT

Phew… Finally I delivered my third toastmasters speech. The reason I am so relieved is because of the topic I choose for the same – “Child Abuse”. It was such a heavy topic that every time I think about it, I get start getting goose bumps. But, ever since I attended the “Preserve Innocence” session in my office, I wanted to share the information with some crowd. I got this opportunity in the form of project#3 – Get To The Point. The speech was to long and I over shoot time even after skipping many lines of the prepared speech.
But, the good thing was:
  1. I got the expressions and audience reaction exactly as per my expectations
  2. I was able to inspire audience to talk about the issue into their families
  3. I got “Best Speaker” of the day certificate.
  1. “Preserve Innocence” session by Anuja Gupta
  2. Blog Post by my colleague Seema Pandey – Moral booster…J
Here goes the speech. 
Recently, I have started to take my 1 year old son to local sports complex for his share of joy rides. The moment I enter the premises, I see cute little happy faces smiling, laughing and singing. Sometimes, I feel jealous about the fun phase of their life. But, behind those broad smiles, there are many unheard voices which are actually shouting for help. Let’s see one such voice:-


I saw this during the ‘Preserve Innocence’ session from human dynamics. And very similar to every individual present here, I too had same emotions.  I almost hold tears in my eyes.

Ladies and gentlemen accept this brutal truth – Child Abuse happening around me, around you, everywhere.

Going by statistics, first survey of its kind in India was conducted in 2007 and it revealed horrifying results. It said, 53.22% of children reported having faced sexual abuse. Among them 52.94% were boys and 47.06% girls. Can you believe that, 1 in every 2 children is being abused. When talked about solution to it, we often feel helpless. I very strongly feel that the most effective solution to this unforgivable act is awareness. More we are aware of it, safer the innocent souls would be.

First – What is child abuse?

Child abuse can be verbal, non-verbal, emotional and physical and the most dreaded sexual. It is not limited to engaging a child in a sexual act or inappropriate physical contact, but it also involves showing a child an adult’s genitals or making a child watch a sexual act or pornographic material. It involves acts like telling “dirty” stories. Rubbing the hand of a child does no harm. But this casual act if performed with unwanted intention is a form of child abuse.

We tend to believe that it cannot happen to our child. Children around us are safe. Yes, it’s true that some cases make the kid more vulnerable to it, but we cannot identify the kids who are likely to be abused.

Most of the times, we say molesters are mentally sick. Their mind is not working properly. There may be no other reason for such degrading act. Dear, actually, child molesters are mentally stronger than me.  Generally, they are the most popular people in the group. They cannot do that is they are not good with children. Because, it is not easy to stop a child from crying aloud when he/she feel like crying. Manipulating children to keep secrets is like finding oxygen on mars. This is the reason more than 50% of abusers are in a relationship of trust with the child. When it comes to answers the question – “Who are child abusers”, I myself feel ashamed to say this, but the fact is “They are like me. They look like me. They are children’s favorite. Most of the times, children love them. They are ‘Fathers’, ‘Grandfathers’, ‘Uncles’ and in some cases, ‘Mothers’, ‘aunts’ also.”

 During the session, the presenter – Anuja Gupta answered the question asked by Amir Khan on his show – “Why do not children speak?”, “What is the reason kid are not able to talk to, inform their parents or anyone about it?”  And, she gave the perfect answer – “It is our expectation from the kids to talk. When adults themselves do not talk about it, how we expect children to share such extreme incident happened with them. Children do not know about these things. Have we made ourselves trust worthy of listening them? Kids are intelligent enough. If you have listened to the survivors, they knew if they would tell it, they would not be believed. ”

Now, the big question, how should a parent react if his/her child informs that something like this has happened? I feel, the answer is – Trust your child. Children do not lie about this. Make your child believe that he has done well by telling it. Say sorry to the kid that he had to undergo this being you around him. Kids take thank you and sorry quite seriously. Listen to the kid and decide to take some action. Make yourself worthy of listening and helping the kids around you.

I wonder why we are so uncomfortable talking about this issue: May be because of our culture. But, dear, it’s high time to give our kids a safe and sound environment to grow. The problem is very severe and unfortunately there is just one resolution to it – awareness. We cannot fight it back until we are comfortable enough do discuss it at our dining table.

I read a question in some interview – “Should we respect our elders?” The person said – “No.”. He further said, – “We should respect their behavior. “.

Ladies and gentlemen, I urge each and every one individual present here to help make themselves and people around them to not to be a respectable elder, but to have a respectable behavior.
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