This incident happened way back in 1994 when i was in my senior schooling years. We went on a youth camp to a remote village in Andhra- TN border and really had the best time of our life. Playing games, pranks, competitions and dances i just felt wonderful after a long time. One morning we had a renown psychiatrist addressing us. There we sat, listening carefully what he had to say about concentrating on studies and later on the topic moved to the various distractions we had when we studied. It was then suddenly pushed to the topic of premarital sex. I could feel the air bristle with tension when students put anonymous questions on sexuality, contraceptives and premarital affairs.
A small town girl who left to study in the city, ( you can watch the same scene in many Bollywood and Kollywood movies!) i felt pretty awful and embarrassed to be discussing these issues in an open circle. And i was shocked, you can say shell shocked listening to the questions raised. My idea of sex and sexuality was limited to watching movies and reading Millsandboon strictly!
And how the world has changed today? Discussing sex is not considered a taboo anymore, as is evident now. And 'transporting' a sanitary pad is not an arduous task. Amma and her ilk are going to supply them free of cost to all female students in schools through teachers- errrr...come again, teachers, you said? So, from now on, teachers would be distributing notebooks and sanitary pads...What a novel idea! Freebies starting from sanitary napkins to mixers, grinders and cows, goats??? Children these days are more intelligent than us, they are swift learners when it comes to sexuality than algebras and theorems. Sex education in schools was a much discussed issue during my school days and now it has fizzled out. CBSE holds sex education as an optional subject and i wonder if anything worthwhile is taught in schools. And at times i myself am confused what is to be taught to our teens- safe sex or abstinence?
The Maharashtra Government has banned sex education in all schools, citing reasons it 'corrupts' the children. I wouldn't say that is wise, because if classrooms don't teach them, our idiot boxes and peer circles will do that- nefariously! A friend lamented once that her five year old daughter wanted to know what that blue liquid being absorbed in a napkin was- seeing a TV commercial. She was too stunned to reply. But is that a solution? It is better we take kids to our side and explain what is required for them to be known for their age, depending on their maturity levels. Who would be a better teacher than us, parents- their first teachers?