Call 1098 When You See Any Child in Distress

1098… A phone number that spells hope for millions of children across India, CHILDLINE is India’s first 24-hour, free, emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance. Any concerned adult or a child in need of help can dial 1098, the toll free number to access our services.  CHILDLINE  responds to the emergency needs of children but also link them to services for their long-term care and rehabilitation.

CHILDLINE is a partnership platform bringing together the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, the UNICEF, the Department of Telecommunications, street and community youth, non-profit organisations, academic institutions, the corporate sector and concerned individuals.

Kindly Help 

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. This is not true. We are India ‘s only and most widespread Children’s phone emergency outreach service (1098) for children in need of care and protection. We do not pick up food or distribute food. This mail was not initiated by us, kindly do not circulate it. Your cooperation is appreciated.

1. What is CHILDLINE?

CHILDLINE is the nations first 24-hour phone outreach service for children in need. Any child/concerned can call CHILDLINE through its toll free number 1098 and access its services.

2. How does CHILDLINE work?
CHILDLINE in each city operates through a structured network of children’s. Each call centre has a team of trained youth who man the telephone lines 24 hours a day. Within minutes of receiving a call the team rushes to the child and attends to the crisis at hand. It may involve going to a police station, the Juvenile Welfare Board or a hospital-constant follow up till the child tides through the crisis after which options for long term rehabilitation are presented to the child.

3. How is it different from any other helpline?
Globally no other non-profit helpline provides outreach services on a 24-hour completely free of cost. CHILDLINE goes beyond counselling over the phone by using the telephone as a medium of link children in need to services that exist for their rehabilitation.

4. Who does CHILDLINE reach out to?
CHILDLINE reaches out to all children in need of acre and protection such as: street children, child labourers, children who have been abused, child victims of flesh trade, differently-abled children, child addicts, 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 crises.

5. What do children call CHILDLINE for?
Children call when they are ill, have met with accidents, when they are lost, being abused, in need of shelter, have run away and want to return to their families, in need of counselling and guidance, for CHILDLINE to perform the last rites when no family claims remains of deceased children.

6. Do children really call?
CHILDLINE has responded to over 4.5 million calls nationally. Help is just a phone call away for a number of children who would never know whom or where to ask for help. Additionally, sharing problems with someone without having to disclose their identity makes it easier for children.

7. CHILDLINE is never seen on TV, so do children really know about the service?
CHILDLINE in any city strategically does not approach the media for at least a year. Children who call CHILDLINE are those who live in extremely vulnerable situation. Often they do not have access to the media. Hence to make them confident that CHILDLINE will be there for them thrust of CHILDLINE outreach programmes is through direct word of mouth methods. It involves the organisation of meetings with children at street corners, market places, parks, railway stations. Bus stands etc., sharing the concept of CHILDLINE with them, teaching them how to dial 1098, speak on the phone, etc. Periodical evaluation of the service and the needs of the children also take place at CHILDLINE parties, Bal adalats at these meetings. At CHILDLINE the largest number of volunteers are children. Their ownership to the service is very high, they feel that CHILDLINE belongs to them and assume that to call CHILDLINE when any of them are in trouble is their responsibility.

8. Does CHILDLINE have its own hospitals and shelters?

CHILDLINE does not create infrastructure. It makes use of facilities and services that already exists. It attempts to bring Government and Non Government agencies together for children. Through its interventions CHILDLINE identifies services that do not exist and advocates for their establishment.

9. What is CHILDLINE India Foundation?
CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF) is the nodal organisation that anchors the CHILDLINE service across the country. It functions as a partnership model, where voluntary agencies function as the call receiving centres, academic institutes anchor all research, documentation, networking and coordination, children volunteer their time, and corporate organisations provide their expertise, resources, and management strategies.

10. Is there anything I can do?

  • Call 1098 when to see any child in distress
  • Tell every vulnerable child you see about CHILDLINE 1098
  • Make a donation to CHILDLINE India Foundation
For further Details
South Regional Resource Centre 

CHILDLINE India Foundation
Second Floor, No.2, Dr. Nair Road
Chennai- 600 017
Landmark: Near Vani Mahal

Phone numbers : 044-2815 6098, 044-28158098

Email : 

Website :

Posted on January 20, 2012, in Editors Corner and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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