These are some of the incidents of my life in the past 3-4 months of working on creating awareness about personal safety to kids! I have created a website with guidelines for parents to discuss with kids about their personal safety - http://smartkids.esy.es/ Please share with parents and teachers. When the rape of a 6 year old girl was discussed in the media in July, all we could do was gape in horror! I spent the whole afternoon browsing about home schooling with tears blocking my vision! My neighbours, friends, servant maid, doctor, acquaintances, teacher - all of them had the same words on their lips - oh poor girl!! Parents were horrified - Some said- these guys should be castrated and hanged! Some said- ghor kalyug Some said- how do we send our kids to school While some parents said - Do you see the way these girls dress up in the PGs (paying guest accomodations)?? These are the ones who incite guys to rape!!! What can the poor man do? After all, he is a MAN, he cannot control himself!!! And then some parents asked - But how do we even start a discussion? What do we tell our children? So I collected some of my friends and we discussed how to create awareness for the kids We discussed drama, games, quizzes, questions, role play, videos - I've incorporated some of them in the website! Well we had differing opinions too - some said - girls shouldn’t be allowed to wear less clothes !!! They should always be covered. Even 10 year old girls clothes must be below the knee and at least half sleeves! I refused to bring the discussion of girls clothes and girls partying into the awareness program - unless it told the boys that however flimsy the girl's attire and however drunk she is and how much ever friendly she is to many boys, it gives them NO right to attack or take advantage of the girl! I went out to talk to some retired teachers, social workers, current teachers and principals - they were very encouraging and gave very good suggestions for the website - and asked me to delete the clothes issue from the script And one lady (well educated, career oriented mother of 2 little girls) asks me - "Why are YOU getting so hot and bothered about this topic? Tumhara to ek beta hi hai na ! (You have a son only)" I went out to childline (1098) whose director and other partners were kind enough to give me their time and opinions! Do we raise boys different from girls? "When a girl asks for water, she is asked to get water for herself and her brother,when a boy asks for water, he is served milk - both ways the communication link is broken !" Why do movies portray women as item girls? We also discussed about the shame - rape/molestation is probably the only crime where the victim feels ashamed !! The director told me "When an accident victim shows you his wounds, you check out his wounds and sympathise! But when a rape victim tells you she/he was raped, we immediately treat them like an untouchable person, Why?" Parents came to him in the wake of the news - Oh, if this happened to my child, I would commit suicide The director said - Why would you? You should be the one to fight the society for your child and teach her to lead a normal life The director also said - It is worse for a boy when he gets molested - the society tells him "oh but you must have enjoyed it" And then one of my friends overheard a conversation in her gym (high end ladies gym) - one lady said - "I was sick with viral fever for the past 7 days and last night my husband said -what is the use of marrying you and then he raped me"!!! The other lady said - "my husband beat me up after last night's party because I laughed too much there" - they were discussing this as if they were discussing some movie story! After one of the awareness program was conducted - a 5 year old girl in all innocence asked "But amma, WHY would anyone touch my private parts?" And an 8 year old girl admitted to her parents that her neighbour "uncle" used to touch her and ask her to keep it a secret!! Is it more heart-breaking to see innocent kids getting more aware of adult issues OR is it more heart-breaking that the awareness program made the parents of the innocent girl aware of her suffering? I just wanted to share the incidents - some may be unrelated, but all these incidents happened in my quest of creating awareness for kids - is this "pain" the reality of the society ?