On the Grand Finale of Cyber Congress I was interacting with the Cyber Ambassadors and feeling proud of what we have achieved by training these young minds!
That’s when 13 years old Kashish started moderating the Panel Discussion on Cyber Security with Police officer, Teachers, and a Cyber Security Expert on her panel. I was awestruck listening to her oratory skills and knowledge on Cyber security.
For someone who joined Women Safety Wing recently this was a pleasant surprise. Throughout the day, I had the opportunity to speak with many such Cyber Ambassadors talking on subjects like phishing attack, cyber bullying to ransomware. Some of them mentioned they are interested to learn ethical hacking. Can you actually believe that?
In 2020 Women Safety Wing, Telangana Police introduced Cyber Congress, an initiative to train and empower children and young adolescents on Cyber Crimes and Security.
Need for the initiative
As we all experienced the pandemic and it’s worst effects, young adolescents were experiencing a shift in their environment on much larger scale, the way they studied, interacted or played.. everything became digital! Their world suddenly changed from playing in the ground and gally to playing ludo king and candy crush. With that the exposure to Cyber Crimes increased exponentially.
Telangana Police observed a drastic increase in Cyber Crimes. On an average, in 520 cases reported to She Teams, 53% cases were Cyber bullying/ Extortion/Harassment etc.
Trying to take an immediate action, Women Safety Wing conducted a survey and the results were shocking. Immediate action was required, after brainstorming for effective action on how to spread awareness productively.. Officers came to a conclusion that, Children the future of the nation only can do justice to any initiative. Thus, Cyber Congress was born, being nurtured by She Teams, School Mentors, NGO’s like Youngistaan and many silent contributors. Students were given online training sessions by Cyber experts coordinated by She Team officers and NGO’s.
One might wonder how Police Officers directly contributed and built rapport with children..
Here is an incident narrated by a mentor, a student wasn’t attending the online session nor the parent was answering the call, so the mentor informed the She Team officer; The officer responded promptly, drove for 45 kms to reach the student’s house personally to attend the concern and resolved the issue, making sure the student doesn’t miss the training session. That’s the kind of dedication our officers put to this initiative.
In the times, where Government School Children were looked upon only for their Telugu Vocabulary or teased for lack of command on English.. 3300 Students have been trained on Cyber Crimes, Cyber Security and how to defend themselves and spread the awareness in communities. The initiative has been so successful that the Prime Minister has appreciated and chose one of the students as Cyber Ambassador for the country.
Today, we can proudly say that Women Safety Wing, Telangana Police has trained it’s young citizens to be the Cyber Warriors defending our communities!
For a 90’s kid, seeing the young generation being so proactive and trying to contribute to the nation felt so emotional. What do we leave behind for future generations? A society which cares for it’s citizens wellbeing!
Dr. Rashmi K
Head of Social Media,
Women Safety wing