Shishurai Shob: Let’s create a child-sensitive society
Shishurai Shobis a voluntary initiative, which aims to contribute to creating a child sensitive society by developing awareness and capacity of all concerned adults across all socio-economic groups.
A Facebook page has been initiated in August 2020. Presently, the page has around 16,000 followers. They are from 34 countries, including Bangladesh, India, the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, and the UAE.
The Shishurai Shob website was launched in September, 2020. Participants of the launch included members of different government organisations and NGOs, the media, writers, and artists. They expressed interest to work in their own roles so that all children can realise their potential.
Since the launch, Shishurai Shob website and Facebook page have covered the following:
Writings and videos on children's health, education, protection, recreation, participation including messages on providing the right support to children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resources on laws, policies, convention, research reports related to children.
Recommendations on books, films, and creative activities.
Questions and answers on parenting.
Shishurai Shob has posted content on many topics, which includes protecting children from physical and mental violence, importance of play and reading, effective communication with children, protecting children in emergencies.
Challenging gender stereotypes and promoting inclusiveness is central to the editorial policy of Shishurai Shob.
The content is usually in Bengali, however, Shishurai Shob hosts key resources available in English also. The online platforms have also posted content generated by others, as Shishurai Shob believes in avoiding duplication and encourage collaboration. In addition to sharing reports published by international organisations and research institutes, they have posted messages developed by national organisations like Breaking the Silence, BRAC, Disaster Forum. They are in touch with various organisations on possible collaboration in future.
A Facebook live event was organised on protecting children from sexual abuse, which generated rigorous discussion on the issue. Recently, Shishurai Shob has created its first video on providing guidance to children to protect them from harmful impact of excessive screen time. This has been well-received by the audience and shared by various individuals and organisations through their social media channels.
An advisory board has been formed comprising child rights experts who are providing strategic direction to Shishurai Shob.
So far, Shishurai Shob has received positive response from the audience. Some mentioned that if there was an initiative like this before, then the quality of children's lives in previous generations would have been improved. Others hoped that people will learn about children, and do the right thing. Many have expressed interest to remain involved.
Shishurai Shob will continue to generate and disseminate messages on various child rights issues. There are plans to organise virtual and face to face events. In future, Shishurai Shob wants to engage campaigns on specific issues.
Some have asked if Shishurai Shob is for parents only. While we promote information on effective parenting, the initiative targets all adults of society, as it is important that each of us become sensitive regarding children's thoughts, feelings and needs. For example, media staff will need to understand how to interview children in an appropriate way; planners and architects should develop awareness on child friendly design; restaurant owners should consider children's needs while planning the sitting arrangements and the menu. The list goes on.
Being involved with Shishurai Shob is as simple as engaging with the content of the Facebook page through Likes, Shares and Comments. Feel free to make suggestions on ways to improve, and let them know possible topics that may be highlighted.
Write articles (within 500 words) and/or send reports, videos related to children developed by your organisation.
If you are interested in sharing content, then please get in touch at email@example.com, and the editorial policy of the organisation will be sent to you.
There is an African proverb which goes, "It takes a village to raise a child." Shishurai Shob plans to be a platform where all members of society can come together, learn, and feel inspired to perform their responsibilities so that the "village" is more liveable for children.
Convener, Shishurai Shob
Photo: Shishurai Shob