Child sexual abuse is rampant in India. Over the years, the incidents have only increased, with many young children suffering. Most of them become victims of sexual harassment at a tender age, with a close family member being the perpetrator.
Such unfortunate instances are scarring for many children and it affects them adversely. The unbearable trauma and profound shame keep them from opening up about it with their parents, as they are the close confidantes. However, many families still hesitate to address such issues because of their stigma.
Therefore, recent times have a rise in such meaningful conversations. Topics such as 'good touch, bad touch' are being taught to children in innovative, engaging, and easy-to-understand ways. In light of this, a 21-year-old man named Yakara Ganesh came up with a fun-filled way to do so.
Educative And Interactive 'Samskar Toy'
Called 'Samskar Toy', it is a doll used to educate children about 'good touch' and 'bad touch' and make them aware of sexual abuse. What pushed Ganesh towards creating it were the rising sexual harassment cases. "I was motivated by the thought of seeing women harassment in newspapers which is mainly taking place due to lack of awareness in the people. I took a step forward to make something from the daily used things and educate children from childhood itself practically," he told The Logical Indian.
In a doll, the toy has a touch and proximity distance sensor that differentiates between good and bad contact. On touching a specific area, it will indicate accordingly and alert the person about it. Ganesh made this toy with the help of an Engineering student named Gundu Bharadwaja and Dr MK Kaushik, CEO of the Vaagdevi Incubation and Business Accelerator (VIBA).
The team introduced the toy to children in various schools in Telangana and demonstrated its qualities. Yakara Ganesh adds, "The management reviewed our toy as one of the best ways in educating the children. They wanted to implement this in their school branches by optimistically sharing their thoughts. The toy can be introduced in educational institutions, Anganwadi etc. This way, the students get the opportunity to learn about this practically."
For Yakara Ganesh, solving problems became a passion. Living in a rural setting, Ganesh took it upon himself to develop innovative ideas to solve many problems around him.
"From my 5th class, I have been doing many projects. One of my favourite and highlighted projects is 'Super Deaf Machine'. It is made to help the ones who are deaf from birth. It cost around 150 rupees to complete this project." Not only that, he sold his hearing impairment device at just Rs 150. Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated his effort in his 'Mann ki Baat' episode in December 2020.
Other inspiring innovations include a self-watering plant and a hands-free sanitiser with a sensor to detect movement and ensure no touch necessary to fight COVID-19.
Receiving Accolades For His Innovation
Ganesh's innovations have received a lot of appreciation, and the Samskar Toy won the E-INNOVATE Award in Poland in September 2021. The creations are getting recognition globally, and it has fuelled Yakara Ganesh's resolve to provide necessary solutions for the mundane problems around him.
He wants to bring a change to the Indian education system in the future. "The education system is based mostly on the theoretical part, but practicals are rarely available. In my opinion, studying and achieving our goals is not the only motive of education. If our studies do not help us solve a problem, they are rendered useless. There are no boundaries for a student to explore and excel in the field you choose, but you can indeed work on your passion, learn what you love to do, settle well in it and become an icon to others," Ganesh adds.
In India, class and caste dynamics play an essential role in determining a child's future. It is often their circumstances that hold them back from pursuing their passion. Looking at Yakara Ganesh, he is a source of inspiration for youngsters around the country. With his imaginative mind, the world is his oyster to make it a better place for people around him.