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Sexuality and Disability India

  /  Workshops   /  My Body   /  Jazzy claps and happy faces
Students in a classroom wearing yellow uniforms raise their two hands and smile at the camera

Jazzy claps and happy faces

We return to Rotary Sanskardham Vidhyalaya for special children to conduct workshops with another group of Hearing Impaired students between the ages of twelve and seventeen. We delve into a discussion on ‘Good Touch & Bad Touch’ and ‘Understanding our Body’ with our counsellor and doctors. The ice-breaker involved picking and talking about a vegetable the participants disliked the most.

Next, psychologist Janavi Doshi from The Foundation opened up the discussion about safety with the help of worksheets and drawings. She talks about common terms like hugging, kissing and tickling, but asserts that one must say Stop very firmly when it is done by someone unwanted. A participants signs that he will break the leg of harasser and run, on being asked by Janavi how one should deal with abuse, while another said that calling up Crime Patrol (or the police) is the best idea. Participants watched the animated short film Komal on understanding child sexual abuse. One helpline to call is Childline, reachable at 1098. To end the session and cement their learning, the participants put up role plays delving into various forms of sexual abuse – such as kissing in public without consent and being made to watch pornography forcefully. The closing lines on consent in relationship- it is not about one partner but an agreement by both.

We move on to a session on “Understand the Body” by Dr Shrutika and Dr Nikhil. Dr Nikhil talks about changes in the body and enunciates the difference between pain and pleasure through body mapping. He mentions semen, and the boys are eager to know what that is. Meanwhile with the girls, Dr Shrutika explains a video on the menstrual cycle through sign language, and talks about the ways of maintaining menstrual hygiene. The girls share that they have boyfriends, but do not indulge in unwanted touching, or even kissing, because the boys ‘take beedis and smoke cigarettes.’ After explaining the process of intercourse, Dr Shrutika informs the girls that ‘If you have certain impairments doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby will also born with certain impairments.’ Then, besides talking about safe and unsafe sex practices, Dr Shrutika says that sex also forms a part of pleasure and one does not need to have a baby each time. She says that one should avoid having sex until the age of 18 because the body is still changing and developing.

Last but not least, there was a Question and Answer session, with interesting questions such as ‘How many times one can have sex in a month?’ and ‘What happens if HIV occurs?’ The students don’t shy away and have a fulfilling discussion to end the day on a positive note.