I am Megha Bhatia, founder of ‘Our Voix’, a youth lead organization which provides free preventive workshops on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). Our focus is on primary prevention of CSA. Voix means ‘voice’. When the children are sexually abused, they are muted and we need to give them voice, so their pleas could be heard. The whole idea was seeded when I dealt with sexually abused children, providing them counseling and assisting them in medical examination, during my internship with Sofia Education and Welfare Society. As a legal intern I was assisting with the work of Crisis Intervention Centre, Mahila Panchayat, etc. This close association helped me realize how single instance of sexual abuse can haunt a person for his entire life. It inhibits their personal and professional growth and keeps them caged in this dreadful experience. I had to do something to save these innocent souls from the agony and affliction of sexual abuse. If the foundation was set right, we would be able to achieve a lot.
I started researching on the issue of Child sexual abuse and realized it is preventable and not inevitable. To remove the myths around child sex abuse or CSA, I organized awareness camps for women and their children informing them about laws and psychological side of CSA. I felt, I still had to expand to my domain knowledge in the realm of Human rights, so I decided to pursue masters in LLM specialization in Human Right. I was offered an admission at University College of London. At the college, I continued with an in-depth research on CSA, the psychological aspects, legal provisions and the magnitude of the problem. I became so passionate about the cause that I decided to do an internship with NSPCC, leading charity in Britain dealing with CSA. In London, I also got a chance to be a part of various leading organizations such as Save the Children, Amnesty International, Art of Living, ASPIeRATIONS, The Camden Society London working for various social causes such as children in armed conflict, autism, child abuse and human rights.
I was eager to apply my skills and go back to my country and help the children, even though societal pressures insisted me to do a corporate job instead. But it was something which did not fascinated me. I felt the children were waiting for me. In India, I have worked with organisations such as Sarvahitey, SEWS, etc. After sufficient knowledge, work and studies, I decided I was ready to start my own organization for this cause, hence ‘Our Voix’. It started on 22 January, 2018 with an Instagram post in London. Now we are based in Delhi. The support I received from people was heartwarming; we have volunteers from London, USA, Canada and different parts of India. We organize free workshops not only for children but also for parents. We make parents and children aware of different aspects of CSA and help them overcome the difficulties of CSA by openly holding discussing with the children, their parents and teachers. We have imparted knowledge on prevention of Child Sexual Abuse to more than 2000+ children in less than two months, and have collaborated with organizations such as ‘Delhi Child Welfare Council’, Robinhood Army, etc.
And I realize this is just the beginning! During one of the regular workshops, we observed an interesting thing. Children were unaware of the correct name of their body parts; some named ‘chest’ as ‘CHIPS’, for others ‘SECRETS’ disguised the word ‘Cigarette’. It’s a long journey from Chips to Chest, but the journey has started and it’s worth it for saving all these innocent souls who are to become the future of our country.
Megha Bhatia | Founder Our Voix