News : A Busy Year for 1098 Child Helpline
Coimbatore, India Jan 19, 2015 -- The year 2014 has proved to be a busy one for CHILDLINE in Coimbatore.
The numbers of cases handled by the helpline, which deals exclusively with children, went up in the past year, thanks to large-scale awareness drives across multiple platforms.
The number of children who benefitted from the helpline in Coimbatore went up from 505 during 2013 to 729 in 2014.
Launched by CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF) in 1996, CHILDLINE (1098) is a toll-free telephone helpline for street children in distress. It operates in 291 cities/districts across 31 States and Union Territories through its network of over 540 partner organisations across India.
The highest number of beneficiaries in Coimbatore was children separated from their parents due to various reasons and pressed into activities such as child labour and begging.
According to data provided by CHILDLINE, while 157 children were restored to their parents in 2013, the number went up to 230 last year. Thanks to the large scale awareness programmes conducted by the Department of Social Welfare, District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) and CHILDLINE, instances of child marriages are now getting reported and stopped, says S. Uma, Childline Co-ordinator.
"It is only because of the awareness initiatives taken by the District Administration and other Government agencies that more such incidents are coming to light. The POSCO Act is being implemented with full vigour with the active cooperation of the police," she adds.
While the helpline rescued 15 minor girls during 2013, the figure went up to 37 in 2014. In most of these cases, it is the girl’s classmates, friends or other children who contact the helpline.
There was a case in Pollachi where a 17-year-old girl, who had scored 463 out of 500 marks in the Class X public examination, was forcibly married off to a relative who was nearly twice her age.
After being rescued, she refused to go back to the school. The DPCU’s counsellor conducted several sessions after which she relented. The child is now continuing to excel.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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