Child helpline receives almost 3 lakh calls since closing

NEW DELHI: Since the blockade began, Childline 1098: the 24x7 helpline in 569 districts for struggling children has seen an increase in calls. About 3 lakh of calls have contacted the helpline compared to the weekly average of about 2 lakh of calls received by the helpline's call centers.

In addition to the daily load of cases related to issues like violence, abuse, stress, fugitives and missing children, Childline has received many calls from people seeking information about the Corona virus, around 8 to 10 people who call daily seek help for children. sick. citing their fears of Covid-19 as symptoms and poor people looking for food for themselves and their hungry children.

Joining the fight against Covid-19, the nodal agency of the women's and children's development ministry that manages and operates the 1098 service through NGOs in the field, has reached out to callers who report food hunger , transporting those seeking help to get sick. child in a child care institution or anywhere else to a health center. Additionally, call centers have received a detailed protocol for responding to callers for information.

In cases where people call for transportation help and medical assistance for a child who shares their fear fears for symptoms similar to those of Covid-19, teams on the ground take every precaution and involve health workers and the district authorities to escort a child to a health center. . There were 8 to 10 calls a day related to children in need of medical assistance, where Childline services were put into action to connect children with healthcare professionals and hospitals, ā€¯Childline officials shared. For families requesting food, teams in the field organize meals through NGOs or buy food and give it to families.

According to Childline officials, the shutdown has led to an increase in calls, including related to reporting concerns about violence, stress and abuse among children. Many of these calls are of the type that require advice over the phone, as it is emerging that with everyone in the home, they want to communicate and share their concerns. In terms of rescue operations, officials said it is difficult to reach a child in distress these days, but ground teams do so in coordination with district authorities and report to committees by phone about the cases. In accordance with social distancing standards, Childline has ensured that it operates with a limited workforce.