-Dipta Joshi (Mumbai)
Mumbai-based sex education evangelist Anju Kish is the founder-director of UnTaboo Education Pvt. Ltd (estb.2015). The company conducts age-appropriate and gender inclusive safety and sex education workshops for children in the 8-18 years age group. Over 30 progressive primary-secondary schools including Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Oberoi International, Mumbai, Mayo College, Ajmer and The Doon School, Dehradun are on UnTaboo’s clients list. Thus far, Kish has addressed over 100,000 children, parents and educators.
Newspeg. On July 1, Kish is all set to launch India’s first gamified E-learning platform for safety and sex education (UnTaboo.online) with two programmes — ‘Puberty adventure for boys’ and ‘Puberty adventure for girls’. The impactful content comprises animated and gamified programmes that will enable independent learning empowering children with accurate information to develop body positivity and responsible behaviour.
History. A law and mass communication graduate of Nagpur University (1991), Kish began her career as a journalist in Hitavada, Nagpur’s premier English language daily, in 1993. In 1996, she moved to Mumbai to work as copywriter in the Mullen Lowe Lintas Group. A decade after she married Sanjiv Kishinchandani and became mother of two curious boys, she began a futile search for child-friendly books on sex and sexuality.
This experience inspired her to sign up with The Institute of Human Technology, Mumbai and qualify as a sex educator in 2011. After four years of independent practice as a sexuality educator in schools, in 2015 Kish invested her savings and promoted UnTaboo Education which offers children, parents and schools gamified workshops and awareness lectures.
Appalled by the neglect of sex and sexuality education in school curriculums in 2019, Kish wrote her first book How I Got My Belly Button: An Enchanting Story on Puberty, Sex and Growing Up which bagged the FICCI Best Children’s Book that year.
Direct talk. “Children today have easy access to pornography at the click of a button and there are hardly any conversations to counter the impact of what they are seeing and hearing. Therefore, they fall prey to misinformation, myths and develop unsafe attitudes. UnTaboo Education helps them grow up with healthy attitudes and better decision making skills. Safety and sex education needs to be recognised as an important life skill for children’s holistic development. I have been working in this space for over a decade, not just educating children but also empowering parents and teachers to enable open conversations,” says Kish.
Future plans. Encouraged by the overwhelming response of parents and schools to her workshops and book How I Got my Belly Button, Kish has ambitious plans for the future. Besides publishing a second edition of her book soon, her online portal untaboo.online will offer additional programmes — on body safety, cyber safety and drugs and alcohol resistance. “The main objective is to help children and teens to make informed choices and navigate adolescence responsibly,” she says.