In light of the recent tragic rape case of ten-year-old Farishta, many celebs came together to spread awareness about child sexual abuse and to highlight the prevailing problems in the society.
In a press conference at Karachi Press Club, Mahira Khan, Shehzad Roy, Zeba Bakhtiar, and Younis Khan encouraged parents and teachers to break the silence over child abuse, and to stop considering it a shameful matter to discuss.
Mahira Khan went on to elucidate the importance of good and bad touch for kids, and how parents should actively take part in educating their children about it at an early age. “This is a tragic event, but such terrible incidents are happening all over our country. Children are suffering such incidents and we need to do what we can to prevent this,” she said.
“We aren’t taught as children what is an inappropriate touch. Parents and teachers should teach their children about these things. Awareness of good touch and bad touch should begin at home and awareness to prevent abuse should be taught at home and school,” she added.
As per Khan, doing so will help the kids in opening up about such incidents and to ask for help when needed. “Please, when these things are not talked about in your homes, don’t hush your children up… because you can’t even think what those children must be experiencing at the time,” she said.
“This is something to give importance to. Whether it’s the police, the child protection unit or counsellors, they should be involved in helping children be aware. We need child psychologists and therapists in our child protection units to help them,” she added.
Following suit, Shehzad Roy brought up Zainab’s case from last year, and condemned the culture that aids apologists by putting out some strong questions. “Why are children not being properly taught how to protect themselves after everything that has happened? Why isn’t our child protection unit working on making this happen?” he asked.
“We need to understand that when such incidents happen, they start slowly. It starts with an inappropriate touch that a child doesn’t understand and is quiet about and it grows to the point that a life is lost. We don’t want it to get to that point, it can be stopped in the first go if a child knows what bad touch is,” he added.
He further encouraged the implementation of Life Skills Based Education in the curriculum of schools, and also assured that the education is age-appropriate and approved by Islamic scholars.
Zeba Bakhtiar and Younis Khan also fully condemned the heinous act, and encouraged everyone to work together to put a stop to it.
“We all need to work together to make this change in our society happen. Education for children regarding all this is very important. Social media plays an important part in all this,” Bakhtiar said, while Khan urged in Pashto to join hands and bring the rape culture to an end once and for all.