Youth icon and Bollywood superstar Ayushmann Khurrana is a thought-leader who is aiming to bring constructive, positive changes in society with his progressive, conversation-starting entertainers. Ayushmann, UNICEF’s Celebrity Advocate for their global campaign EVAC (Ending Violence Against Children), shares his thoughts on creating a safe space for kids on the internet to mark the International Day against Violence and Bullying at School including Cyberbullying.
Ayushmann, who has been voted as one of the most influential people of the world by TIME Magazine, says, “Bullying is traumatic for every person, and in the present day it also happens online. In the case of cyberbullying, children are often not sure of how and where to access help, whether the bullying originates from people they know in school, in their communities or strangers on the internet.”
The International Day was marked with the theme: ‘Tackling cyberbullying and other forms of online violence involving children and young people’. Bullying in school and online violence including cyber bullying has a negative effect on academic achievement, mental health, and quality of life of students.
Children who are frequently bullied are nearly three times as likely to feel left out at school as those who are not. They are also twice as likely to miss out on school and have a higher tendency to leave formal education after finishing secondary school. This day calls on global awareness of the problem of bullying in school, online violence and cyberbullying, its consequences and the need to put an end to it.
It also calls on the attention of students, parents, members of the educational community, education authorities and a range of sectors and partners, including the tech industry, to encourage everyone to take a part in preventing violence for the safety and wellbeing of children and youth.
Ayushmann Khurrana says, “As parents, teachers, and family members, it’s our collective responsibility to ensure that all children are aware of how to stay safe online, to create a safe space where children who experience online violence do not hesitate to seek help. Together, let us make the internet a safer place.”