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In 1996, Mumbai launched CHILDLINE, the country’s first toll-free tele-helpline for street children in distress. It has responded to over 11 million calls from children who live and work in Mumbai , and has grown into a national child protection service that operates in 81 cities. In 11 years, CHILDLINE has worked with over 3 million children in need of care and protection.
CHILDLINE was founded in June 1996, by Ms. Jeroo Billimoria, who was a Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Mumbai. The Toll Free 24 Hours Telephone Number 1098 is the Hope of Millions of children in India. CHILDLINE is a platform bringing together the Ministry for Women & Child Development, Government of India, UNICEF, Department of Telecommunications, street and community youth, non-profit organisations, academic institutions, the corporate sector and concerned individuals.
Childline works for the protection of the rights of all children in general. But the special focus is on all children in need of care and protection, especially the more vulnerable sections, which include:-
- Street children and youth living alone on the streets
- Child labourers working in the unorganised and organized sectors
- Domestic help, especially girl domestics
- Children affected by physical / sexual / emotional abuse in family, schools or institutions
- Children who need emotional support and guidance
- Children of commercial sex workers
- Child victims of the flesh trade
- Victims of child trafficking
- Children abandoned by parents or guardians
- Missing children
- Run away children
- Children who are victims of substance abuse
- Differently-abled children
- Children in conflict with the law
- Children in institutions
- Mentally challenged children
- HIV/ AIDS infected children
- Children affected by conflict and disaster
- Child political refugees
- Children whose families are in crisis
“Caution Warning : We understand there is a chain mail circulating that says – one should call up 1098 to pick up left over food after a party etc. so that it is not wasted. We are India’s only and most widespread Children’s phone emergency outreach service  for children in need of care & protection. We do not pick up food or distribute food. This mail is not initiated by us, kindly do not circulate it. Your co-operation is appreciated.”
You might have received the above chain mail, and perhaps you would have forwarded to others, thinking that they were genuine and from “Childline”, noticing the Phone number 1098, or even without knowing the origin and background. Please do not forward the unauthorized mail. In fact, in some parties, the balance food items used to be taken to the nearby Orphanage or Old- age Home.
To know much more about “Child Line 1098” read from their Official Website.