Model & Strategy
[Trigger warning: This profile contains material about sexual abuse.]
Child sexual abuse (CSA) impacts children of all ages, socio-economic classes, and genders. It is a global issue of pandemic proportions, with severe psychological, physical, and emotional consequences for victims. One in two children face sexual abuse in India. Yet, there is tremendous taboo and silence; caregivers lack the knowledge and skills to identify or intervene, children are unequipped to recognize abuse or seek help.
Arpan, an established nonprofit in India, works toward a world free of child sexual abuse by delivering training and educational programs focused on prevention, awareness building and understanding to create safer environments for children. Arpan has several distinct programs that can be broken into three areas:
Focused on Prevention:
Arpan’s Personal Safety Education (PSE) Programme for children delivers age-appropriate education programs mostly in schools (with some application in communities) with boys and girls from Grade 1 through Grade 10. Arpan also provides training for teachers, parents, mental health providers, and NGOs, as well as prevention training that teaches parents and caregivers how to keep their kids safe online.
Focused on Healing:
Arpan provides long-term mental health services to children and adult survivors. They currently work with counselors and therapists to deliver child and family therapy to victims of CSA.
Focus on Public and Policy Advocacy:
Arpan is recognized as the leader in the prevention of CSA in India. They are creating mass awareness and advocating for systemic-level change through conferences, talks, and advocacy for schools and NGOs, at both national and international levels.
Pooja Taparia is Founder and Chief Executive of Arpan, and has built a globally recognized, award winning NGO dedicated to addressing and preventing an underfunded, poorly recognized issue impacting millions of children worldwide, that of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). Based in Mumbai, with a team of over 100 dedicated professionals, Arpan is India’s largest NGO providing CSA Prevention and Intervention services for both children and adults. As a critical stakeholder for state and non-state actors, Arpan is a leading voice in the space of CSA Prevention and Intervention in India, and uses advocacy and research to push for policy and systemic change at the local, state and national levels. Pooja is a member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) and has received numerous awards for her work on Child Abuse, including the Inspire Award, the Astitwa Award, the Architects of the Future Award and the Karmaveer Puraskar Award.
As a leader, Pooja embodies the spirit of the modern-day social entrepreneur and has grown Arpan from a 3 person start-up into a global thought leader in the CSA space, with innovative impact models that work with a range of stakeholders, from children and parents to state bodies and teachers.
Since 2007 Arpan has impacted over 1.6 million children and adults, and has received 6 National level and 2 International Awards, including the WISE Award 2019 by Qatar Foundation and the C. Henry Kempe Award 2016 by ISPCAN.
Within this Arpan has:
• Trained 130,000+ children and 100,000+ parents and teachers through the Personal Safety Education (PSE) program in over 200 schools and shelter homes in 3 districts of Maharashtra.
• Arpan has provided psycho-education/counseling and intervention to 12,000 children and 2,600 family members.
• Trained 140,000 professionals (gov’t and non-gov’t teachers, social workers and mental health professionals) to replicate the prevention and intervention models of Child Sexual Abuse. These professionals have trained over 1.13 million children and adults.
• Through the Digital Learning Programme, 78,000 individuals accessed Arpan’s digital content and through partner organizations like UNICEF and partner platforms like DIKSHA which have integrated our content.
Through Policy Advocacy at State and National level, Arpan has integrated PSE into the National Life skills Curriculum and at the state level in Maharashtra and Bihar.