Mangaluru, India, Aug, 2021 -- Childline, the phone-based helpline for children in trouble in Mangaluru has received 113 calls in the month of July, the highest for a single month so far.
The helpline 1098 which functions round the clock was receiving an average of 80 calls in a month. The helpline functions under the Women and Child Development Department and is run by an NGO in the district. The highest before July was in 2019 with 102 calls. Apart from Mangaluru city, the helpline gets calls from children in Bantwal, Belthangady and Sullia taluks.
Children in distress call the helpline even during midnight, said Deekshith Achrappadi, Co-ordintor of the Childline to DH.
"On an average, we receive three to four calls daily. Highest calls during the month were seeking ration kits. A total of 43 calls were received seeking ration kits. In a single day, we have received 30 calls for the same," according to the statistics.
The mental and physical harassment of children had increased during lockdown in the interior areas. Many kids owing to poor network connectivity have been informing about their ordeal by trying to contact the department through their friends.
Further, the helpline has also been received calls from children for online abuse on Instagram or online classes. "We noticed how kids were disturbed as they could not share the problem of online abuse with their parents. Some children even ask us not to inform the parents and keep the issue a secret and seek help to sort it out. We also counsel the children to come out of the trauma by taking the parents to confidence," he said.
The Childline has documented calls seeking medical help, shelter, sponsorship, physical, mental harassment, sexual assault, begging, family discord, child marriage and others.
Some of the calls were also pertaining to a missing child, seeking information on government schemes, and education as well.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
A 24-hour helpline for children
Published: Thursday, August 5, 2021
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