CHILDLINE project is a national 24-hour free phone emergency outreach service for children in need of care and protection, linking children to long-term services. CHILDLINE aims at responding to every child in need of care and protection throughout the country and ensuring that there is an integrated effort between governmental and non-governmental organizations in protecting the rights of children. The projects was officially inaugurated as an experimental project in June 1996. It was to be a phone helpline exclusively for children where they could coil in for anything, anytime and from anywhere in Mumbal. The projects’ overall objectives are as follows:
To reach out to every child in need of care and protection by responding to emergencies on 1098.
To provide a platform of networking amongst organizations and to provide linkages to support systems that facilitate the rehabilitation of children in need of care and protection.
To work together with the Allied Systems (Police, Health Care, Juvenile Justice, Transport, Legal, Education, Communication, Media, Political and the Community) to create child friendly systems.
To advocate for services for children that are inaccessible, non-existent or inadequate.To create a family of NGOs and Government organizations working within the framework of a national vision and policy for children.
Currently operational in 53 cities of India spread across 19 states with a vision to reach out to every child in distress in each city/district of India it, aims to be operational in all 596 districts of India by 2015.
Nationally CHILDLINE service until February 2003 has responded to over 3.5 million calls from children, the largest number of calls received by any helpline, in India. These calls range from medical assistance, shelter, protection from abuse, repatriation, emotional support and guidance, calls for information about services for children or just calls to speak to someone who cares.
The success of CHILDLINE operation lies in the adaptation of innovative technology to the needs of the voluntary sector. Its successful merger of grass roots micro level intervention with information technology and telecommunications enables CHILDLINE to serve as an efficient link between the child and the system.
The national CFI network comprises 150 partner organizations supported by over 600 resource organizations. The CHILDLINE crisis team across the country comprises 1200 members supported by a network of over 5000 child/youth volunteers.
“This project is pioneering in its service type and in adapting modern information and telecommunications technologies to the needs of grassroots populations. It is modern in its multi-sector approach. It has already interacted with more than 3 million beneficiaries and is rapidly growing annually.”