FSL India recently conducted a series of workshops on Cyber Bullying called CTRL + ALT + DEL Combating Cyber Bullying, through Alternative Safe Space & Deleting Hate Speech. The workshops were conducted for students and faculty members of various institutions including Bhandarkars Arts and Science College,Kundapur, on 29th October; St. Josephs University, Bangalore on 3rd November and CMR University on 4th November 2022. A total of 220 students and teachers from all these reputed universities attended the workshop in their respective universities where the keynote speaker – Dr. Shubhra Punetha, a renowned psychiatrist addressed the current situation of cyberbullying globally, and also listed its harsh effects. The participants were then introduced to the best ways to tackle cyberbullying that are being followed globally and technical measures to keep their information safe online. The participants then worked in groups to develop actions to create further awareness and safety among their peers to tackle this pertinent issue.
This initiative by FSL India was funded by Erasmus+ (EU’s program to support education, training, youth, and sport in Europe), and was organized in partnership with four international organizations namely RIZIKA (CZECH REPUBLIC), IGEEI (PHILIPPINES), IIAPHS (ITALY) and SYAJ (PORTUGAL). All organizations worked hand-in-hand to spearhead the planning and implementation of the project. The aim of this project was to address the issue of cyberbullying and call for relevant actions on how a safety net can be created to ensure the protection of rights specifically of vulnerable groups such as children and young people. Speaking on the workshops, Mr. Rakesh Soans, President, of FSL India said, Children and young people are being negatively affected online through social media platforms and the complexity of these social networks means bullying can take on different forms on different platforms. There is a need to raise awareness and create ecosystems to sensitively manage the emotional well-being of the younger population He further stated, Social media companies are facing increased scrutiny from parents, professionals and Government for their response to child protection matters online, including cyberbullying.
Over the past two years, FSL Indias cyberbullying project has focused on exploring the best practices for addressing the issue in Asia and Europe. They also conducted an international conference on cyberbullying in Rome, Italy. As part of the most recent phase of the project, youth workers from the partner organizations gathered for training held in Bangalore, India where they met with experts in the field and exchanged knowledge on the psychological, educational, and technical aspects of cyberbullying in India. Stefania Tudorache – Trainer, Synergia Braga, shared her thoughts on the workshops, stating – Bullying is not a new phenomenon, but the digital landscape has fundamentally changed the way that young people are experiencing it. This project is very important for Synergia, as it helps us get a better understanding of the phenomenon of Cyberbullying across the world and create new platforms of awareness, prevention, and supporting the victims.
Headquartered in Bangalore, and in operations since 2001, FSL Indias mission is to create a strong, well-connected, regenerative society for a better world through volunteering, education, and community development focusing on youth and community-based organizations and corporate volunteers. Being members of the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS-UNESCO), NVDA (Network for voluntary development in Asia), and the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organization, FSL India networks with like-minded organizations around the globe, to promote youth mobility inter-cultural learning, social inclusion, and global citizenship through field-based ctivities and volunteering.