“Children are the most vulnerable sections of society” is a statement beyond argumentation. This is especially true for society like that of India, where, according to UNESCO, one in every three rape victim is a child. Further according to a report by Ministry of Women and Child Development on a study on Child Abuse in India, 50 percent of abuse is by person known to the child or who is in a position of trust and responsibility and that 50 percent of children have faced one or more forms of sexual abuse in India.
There are lots of misconception about the sex education in the country, only so because of the lack of it.
The reason that such ghastly acts still continue in our society are multifarious. Social stigmas concerning sexual education, lack of reporting by parents and children due to taboos associated with sex and no or very less information available to the children regarding sexual and human physiognomy goes to the root of the problem. To say the least, this smartphone generation is not getting proper sex education.
The solution to this malady was suggested by the National Health Policy (NEP), 2002, according to which sex education should be included as part of education in India. But governmental apathy, owing to a deep seated conviction and preconceived notions on outdated morals and values, has left central government’s efforts, time and again, in lurch.
According to the article Sex Education Conundrums by S. Anandhi, a scholar on gender issues, ‘Fundamentalists organizations were trying to repress sexuality. According to her, sex education was aimed at combating child sexual abuse’.
To take one example, upon the advice of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS) ideologue Dinanath Batra, the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan banned sex education in Madhya Pradesh. The same happened in states like Karnatka, Maharastra, Gujrat (which has implemented it with many modifications) and Rajasthan where sex education is banned under the pretext of preventing cultural mutilation and westernization of Indian culture. In fact, most preposterous arguments ranging from those such as conspiracy by multinational companies to increase the sales of condoms or sex education being a western concept which is not suitable to individual values by ex CM of Karnatka, are advanced. Ironically, such arguments are posited in the land of Kamasutra ( by Vatsyayana), which arguably is the world’s first treaty on the subject of sex.
While policy makers refuse to implement the recommendations of NEP and despite having legislation such as POCSO Act, 2012, in place, crime against children continue to rise and so does the risk of teenage pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. With such gloomy figures at hand, sex education has become an imperative which cannot be overlooked any further.