New Delhi: The second episode of Aamir Khan's much talked about television show Satyamev Jayate deals with the issue of child abuse. Given the huge positive feedback generated by the pilot episode that tackled the contentious subject of female foeticide both in rural and urban India, the second episode is even more explosive in form and content.
According to the sources, Aamir has been working with a string of NGOs working with children abused sexually either at home or outside, often by people they trust. There were indications that Aamir intends to drop a bigger bomb on May 13 at 11 AM during his show on Star Plus.
The second episode has shown the cases of Cindrella Prakash and Harish Aiyer who have gone through bad experiences in their past.
Aamir has stirred up a hornet's nest as statistics have shown in the past that sexual abuse of children is rampant in Indian metros, with the abuser often known to the child.
A survey conducted in 2007 by the Women and Child Development Ministry and the NGO Prayas in association with Unicef and Save the Children across 13 states and with a sample size of 12,447, found that 53.22% of children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and Delhi had reported the highest percentage of such incidents at that time.
In 50% of the cases, the abusers were known to the child or were in a position of trust and responsibility and most children did not report the matter to anyone. The aim of the study was to develop a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of child abuse, with a view to facilitate the formulation of appropriate policies and programmes meant to effectively curb and control the problem of child abuse in India.
The National Study on Child Abuse is one of the largest empirical in-country studies of its kind in the world. This study also complements the UN Secretary General's Global Study on Violence against Children 2006.
In the first episode, Aamir talked about the killing of unborn girls, an alarming reality not just in the far-flung cow belts but also in urban Indian households. Aamir said it involves the collusion of families, doctors and a social structure that encourages the desire for a boy child - at any cost. The result has been the death of over 3 crore unborn girls since independence and a generation of young men, many amongst whom will find it very tough to get a life partner.
He also set up an SMS poll: "Do you want the Rajasthan government to set up a fast-track court to process the cases arising out of the sting operation on doctors performing female foeticide, carried out by Meena Sharma and Sripal Shaktawat? SMS Y for Yes or N for No, and send to 5782711."
The feedback has been overwhelming. Three days after the show was aired, the Madhya Pradesh Health Department suspended the licences of 65 Medical Termination of Pregnancy centres for not submitting their reports on the prescribed form. Meanwhile, Aamir met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to appeal to him to take action in old cases of female foeticide in his state.
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