Child Protection seminar Aug 12
A Child Protection Training and Conference was held from 23 – 24 August 2012. Champakalata devi dasi, International Director for ISKCON’s Central Office of Child Protection conducted the four-day seminar with inputs from professional experts like Ms. Samindara Sawant, Director of Disha; Ms. Sneha Kupekar, ChildLine and Ms. Asha Bajpai, Professor and Dean at TISS. Inputs from professional psychologist, child care helpline member, lawyer and others accomplished in the field of child care helped participants recognize that protection of children is a fundamental requirement in any society and facilitated the participants better understand how to prevent children and deal with complaints of child abuse, if any.
The seminar saw participation of more than 90 congregational devotees and educators associated with various ISKCON centers and temples across India. Most of these participants were involved with children related services like Sunday School, Day School, etc or active members of their respective temple community and were proposed by their respective temple authorities or management to attend the course and play an proactive role in preventing any form of abuse at any schools or ISKCON temples in India.
Champakalata dasi urged temples across India to form a Child Protection Team at their respective ISKCON temples to offer guidance to parents, devotees and community members. A Child Protection Team is a group of two, three or more devotees chosen by the local ISKCON authorities, who have initial responsibility for responding to reported child abuse.
ISKCON’s Central Office of Child Protection was established by the Governing Body Commission to serve two important functions, proactively preventing abuse and reactively responding to complaints of abuse.