Safety as a concept has always been paramount to us and so has it been, ‘ever-changing’ right from our caveman days. From using fire to keep predators away to using firewalls to keep perpetrators at bay, we have come a long way and our need for safety has evolved over the years. In our formative years, although safety is taught to us in schools, it is greatly limited to first aid and prevention of accidents, often focusing on physical aspects of safety alone. Then as we grow up we learn that doors are meant to be locked, money has to be kept in secure places, and children are not supposed to mingle with strangers. Such advice related to physical safety is iterated in our homes, as well as schools, and forms a major part of a caregiver’s discourse.
In the 21st century, safety education as a domain has found newer meanings, especially with the advent of digital technologies. Every aspect of offline safety we have followed, has now found an avatar online. Safety is now not limited to physical well being but pervaded to emotional, social and virtual well being as well. With the rise of the Internet and digital ecosystem we discovered spaces with multiple opportunities to connect, share, emote and relax.
It became an inseparable part of our lives, which we now lived both physically and digitally. The newness and allure of it was so enchanting that we seldom realised the trade-offs and dangers that lurked behind. As we started living our lives both online and offline, we traversed the boundaries seamlessly, often unintentionally leaving breadcrumbs of our physical personal lives in digital spaces to be seen and used. This naturally came with consequences which we were not equipped to deal with.
Every day, about 165 children die in India due to an unintentional injury. From an official report in 2015, it is estimated that 60,445 children aged 0-18 years died as a result of injuries. Out of these, 45,636 deaths were due to unintentional injuries like road crashes, burns, drowning, poisoning and others in 2015.
The data by the National Crime Record Bureau states that a total of 109 children were sexually abused every day in India in 2018. Similarly the data around dangers in the digital world is alarming too.
According to a study conducted by the organization – Child Rights and You, one in every three adolescent internet user has gone through some form of negative experiences online. And 10% of them even revealed that they had been cyberbullied.
In a survey conducted by US News and World Report on the global perceptions on best countries to raise children, India ranked 59 out of 80.
All these data points towards us as a nation and community having an urgent need in making greater strides towards Safety education. Today with the breakout of the pandemic, as physical restrictions emerged, online mode of functioning came as a solace. Schools also benefited from this as they could now continue to educate despite the lockdowns. Children are now exploring education through laptops, tablets and phones. Unlike yesteryears where this digital independence was only reached during adolescence, now children as young as pre-schoolers are pushed into the online world. This also means that they were now more prone to online abuse, as parents and schools are not equipped to provide the necessary safety education in this new domain.
Our team of experts at Safety Troop realised this need and created a platform to help children, parents and caregivers navigate safely in the offline as well as online realms. Through our carefully designed modules, webinars and creative assets, we empower children, parents and educational institutions to identify unsafe scenarios, learn strategies to overcome these scenarios and promote a culture of safety by being proactive. The right to feel safe and happy is a basic right of every child.
At Safety Troop, we recognise that children need more than rote learning ways to cope with the challenges that the new way of life brings to them. For holistic growth, children need to be well-armed with soft skills and social skills that help them navigate through life, both physical and digital. This helps children not only fight against predatory behaviour in early years but also helps them navigate social life during adolescence and smoother transition into work spheres later in life.
Safety Troop not only imparts safety education but also is a space where individuals can come together and discuss their concerns and doubts around safety, without fear or inhibitions. It is a forum where every question will find answers and every answer will be questioned to create newer meanings.
We welcome you all to join us on this mission to create a safer and happier world for ourselves and our children.