BIS #7007 Exploring POCSO and the Salesian Preventive System

By Cl. Ethan Fortes for BISMumbai

Don Bosco Vyawasaik Prashikshan Kendra (DBVPK), Chinchwad, organised a half-day seminar on the POCSO Act and the Salesian Preventive System on 8 August 2023. Along with the staff members of DBVPK, the staff members of Rasquinha Don Bosco, Chakan, also participated in the sessions. 

The seminar was conducted by Fr Sunil Pinto and Fr Lester Fernandes. Fr Pinto is currently pursuing his studies in Law and has worked in the YaR sector for a number of years. Fr Fernandes particularly specialises in assisting institutes in formulating Child Protection policies for the protection of minors at the institute.

The seminar served as an important platform for disseminating knowledge about child protection laws and promoting awareness among the attendees. By bringing together staff members from different institutions, it fostered a collaborative approach towards ensuring the safety and well-being of the young population. 

During the seminar, Fr Pinto highlighted the gravity and significance of the POCSO Act, shedding light on its vital role in protecting children from sexual offences. He also elucidated the key differences between the POCSO Act and the J.J. Act (Juvenile Justice Act). One of the central themes emphasised by Fr Pinto was the pivotal role adults play in an institute that hosts and educates young individuals. Understanding and adhering to the guidelines and mandates of the POCSO Act is essential for creating a safe and nurturing environment for youngsters under their care. He said that school authorities and teachers have a very responsible and vital role in ensuring that the young people who avail themselves of the services in educational institutions feel safe in the institutions.

Fr Fernandes spoke on the Child Protection Policy and made the staff aware of all points mentioned in it. By sharing pertinent examples, he facilitated a comprehensive comprehension of the reasoning behind each point mentioned in the policy. His engaging presentation resonated with the audience, effectively conveying the significance of a robust and well-implemented policy for safeguarding children and youth.

After the enlightening sessions, the staff members signed the Child Protection Policy, signifying their acknowledgement and acceptance of all the terms mentioned within. This proactive approach further reinforced the commitment of the participants towards fostering a safe and secure environment for the young learners under their care. 

Mr Ashwin Gadhave, a staff member of DBVPK, was very appreciative of the seminar. The enlightening sessions, he said, left him with a deeper awareness of the pivotal role such policies play in institutions serving youngsters.