May 14: For people, countering Aids and sex education goes hand in hand. Till now there isnâ€™t any cure for AIDS and medicos say prevention is better than cure. Now concerned quarters look for different means by which the menace can be controlled. India, which has been suffering from this life threatening experience, is not an exception and the authorities are more than concerned.
As in other countries of the world, here in India, Union government along with the state governments have started a novel way of educating children about the menace, while they are in their schools. Keeping in view the alarming population of the country, the authorities all over the world welcomed the decision along with the concerned agency of United Nations.
The central government issued a circular so that it can be applied to, throughout the country. Unfortunately some states offered hindrances and started creating problems. In a country which is set to house more than fifty per cent of AIDS patients by 2020, sex education has been banned in some states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. And now the government of violence hit state Jammu and Kashmir has now joined the chorus.
At this point of time, some states with high literacy rate in the country like Kerala and Karnataka, gave broad hints to take forward the legacy started by the state of Madhya Pradesh government.
Why? People in India and outside have started asking this question. The answer is pathetic. Government has raised questions about the curriculum. They say: the learning modules are too explicit, and some pictures are too graphic. Instead of addressing explicitly and graphics of the module, they have altogether shunned the idea.
The Union government seems to be helpless in reverting or forcing these states to stop these bans even as it seeks to curb the spread of HIV. Statistics prove that about 86 per cent of HIV infections in the country occur through sexual intercourse, one key reason being that migrant workers in cities visit prostitutes and infect their wives when they return home.
Experts along with medical practitioners have reiterated that the menace can be checked at school level as it is the best place and the right time where we can teach our children the pros and cons of this fatal disease. If the state governments think that parents, especially mother in case of girl child, can teach her in the closet of home then they are wrong as one of the experts recently stated, â€œAt home, mothers hesitate to talk to daughters about something as simple as menstruation.â€?
As public schools have been barred from disseminating sex education their counterparts in the private sector seem to have shunned the idea altogether. The reason: they donâ€™t want to fall prey to the controversy.
Bans wonâ€™t lead us anywhere. The need of the hour is to change the prudish attitudes to help counter the spread of Aids and the wind of change must first blow through the country's schools. We should believe on the time tested mantra â€˜catch them youngâ€™.
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