Students to design ICT tools for teaching Taboo Health Topics, IIIT-Delhi encourages the initiative

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IIIT Delhi

Where gynecological and mental health are still considered as hush-hush topics in many parts of the country, students at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-D) have taken a great initiative to teach taboo health topics to the current as well as the future generation of India using technology. The PhD students at IIIT-D are doing research on various sensitive health topics which are considered taboo in society such as mental health, menstruation health, and sexually-transmitted diseases with the aim to develop technology-based educational platforms. These platforms will provide a complete health guide to everyone in the society, especially school children.

Though ensuring healthy lives and well-being to everyone at all ages is the third goal of sustainable development, the open discourse, and discussion on sexual education, sexually transmitted diseases, menstruation health, and mental illness is still avoided in India due to various socio-cultural norms. This lack of open communication about such “taboos” prevents the children and youth to understand their physical and mental evolution and the risks that they are vulnerable to.

Be it school or home, children do not have access to authentic information on some of these sensitive personal health-related topics, which leads to the formation of taboos and misconceptions regarding them. At school, teachers lack the proper teaching material for creating awareness among the students and thus students rely on their parents for the same. On the other hand, parents consider it a responsibility of teachers in schools and institutes to impart the health awareness and knowledge about certain hush-hush topics to the children. In such cases, children remain ambivalent to the most important health subjects.

The technological tools and applications once designed by the students of IIIT-D will support the schools as well as parents to rightly educate the children about the sensitive and most important health topics at the appropriate age. As of now, students of IIIT-D are aggressively working to design interactive mobile based applications that will serve as a useful medium for teenagers concerned with health care and education. They also brought to limelight their long-term objectives to develop ICT based educational aid (s) for such health concerns which will encourage the schools, parents, and children to come together and openly challenge the taboos and stigmas attached to the mental, menstruation, and sexual health

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