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News : Approval for Youth Helpline Deferred
Pune, India, Jan 29, 2015 -- With the civic standing committee on Wednesday failing to approve the proposal to set up a helpline for youths, the launch of the same has now been delayed by at least a week. Standing committee chairman Bapu Karne said the proposal will be taken up during the next week's meeting. He, however, did not give any reason for delaying the decision. The helpline was scheduled to be launched on January 26.
It's been four months since the civic chief approved the helpline proposal, which is meant for youths in distress and in need of counseling. The proposal was mooted by deputy mayor Aba Bagul and all party leaders recently gave their nod and forwarded it to the standing committee for its approval, but the committee members have now decided to take it up for discussion next week.
"It is surprising that the standing committee did not approve the proposal, which will not cost a single rupee to the Pune Municipal Corporation. The helpline was proposed against the backdrop of frequent suicides by youths who go into depression because of various reasons. Various eminent citizens have agreed to be a part of the initiative and render their services without any cost," Bagul said.
More than 40 trained counsellors and celebrity mentors will assist the helpline — Hello My Friend. The counselors will discuss personal and career-related problems with youngsters. The helpline will be operated through a call centre to be set up at the Kamala Nehru Hospital. A 24x7 emergency line will be available for those seeking immediate guidance. Callers will be regularly informed about special lectures and counselling sessions through texts.
Civic officials said the administration was ready with the support base to launch the helpline, but political parties were delaying the process. Interestingly, the Congress party, to which Bagul belongs, has not responded to his appeal to cooperate in launching the project. Some of the party corporators said the proposal was not being cleared as everyone wanted to claim credit for it.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, January 30, 2015