She was sleeping. A peaceful, dreamy sleep with her face betraying the story of the dream. Apart from the few frowning expressions that marred her pretty face for a moment or two, her lips played with her cute, dimpled smile. Her black hair was lying in a mess, forming a perfect border for her pretty face.

I had an innate desire suddenly to hide her, to save her from everyone else lest they separate us, or worse harm her. I wanted to do something yet I couldn’t. I felt the monster of helplessness gnawing at my intestines. I knew there would be times when she will have to stay alone, live alone and fight the monsters of the world alone. The thought itself was so painful and scary, I felt my heart might stop and burst into a million pieces. I unknowingly touched her face and planted a light kiss on her forehead. Suddenly she stirred and then opened her eyes wide. Her big black eyes looked even prettier with sleep still lurking in them. She caught me staring at her, gave one of her dimple-y innocent smiles and gave me a sleepy hug. “Good morning Papa”, she said as a tear dropped from my eye and my will to protect her grew fiercely strong.

The parents today, face such a fear every single moment. They are scared of the environment, scared of the situations, and the cases that are coming up. Most of all, they are scared of what the current terminology puts as a paedophile. This sudden fear is not the outcome of one single incident; there have been a series of attacks on innocence. Sexual assaults and rapes have been reported of kids ranging from the age group of 6 years to the youngest, 18 months. What strikes as most uncommon is the question that what exactly is leading to this? What is it that makes human beings worst than the worst demon ever? What is it in kids that turn them “ON”, so to say?

The leading psychologists are of opinions that all of these paedophiles are either psychopaths or mentally unstable. They all suffer from huge inferiority complexes and generally have two sides to their behavioural patterns. Even the culprit of the hideous rape of the 5-year old in Delhi, Manoj Sah was found at his in-laws place, feasting and portraying the image of the good son-in-law that he definitely is not.

There has been no time like today when we have been so helpless to protect our own kids. They are facing danger everywhere; be it school, playground or even their safest abodes. The brutality has set even the worst of criminals at bay with the oil bottles and charcoal pieces. The various surveys and studies conducted all over the country points out that 8 out of the 10 child molesters are close to the family and more closer to the child, slowly spinning the web around them and luring them in the trap.

It is seen in 8 out of 10 cases, that the child knows the person who is sexually assaulting them and so at first doesn’t understand what is happening. It is only when things go to the extreme level that the child understands. Then is the problem of communication. In most Indian houses, the children are still not comfortable discussing such topics with their parents. While it is difficult and embarrassing for the children to talk, it is astonishing for the parents to know that someone they trusted with the children did this. No one in their wild dreams can imagine something as bizarre as this.

So fear in the hearts of parents continues to increase and sometimes gets the better of them. This has lead to the mass mobilization and the occasional protests. But that will hardly help to solve the problem, which is dangerous only because of its spontaneity and uncertainty of occurrence in a particular way.

The cases of child molestation and rapes are hardly new; it has just gained the spotlight today because of the increase in the brutalities and the frequency of happening. What is new is the phenomenon of paedophiles, something that can attack babies, merely months old. Need of the hour is to educate the children and to make their channels of accessing help, stronger and easier by maintaining healthy communication. Parents need to make sure that their bonds with the kids are stronger and smooth enough for the kids to be able to notify what is wrong around them. The kids need to be taught about the right and wrong touches.

It is important to have a strong base of a proper judicial system too. Till the times the paedophiles are at large and they are not adequately punished, the parents shall live in this hell of paranoia and be worried about their tiny tots and their innocence.

 

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