CHILD LINE is a national 24-hour free phone emergency outreach service for children in need of care and protection. The phone number 1098 (toll free), responds to needs of children by providing emergency assistance and linking them to specific resource organizations for long term rehabilitation services with planned follow-ups thus assisting the children to fight with the difficult circumstances of her/his life.

It is a project of the ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, in partnership with Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and the corporate sectors. It is a 24-hour free of cost service provided by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), Department of Telecommunications. Any child who is in any crisis or any person who is aware of such a child can dial 1098 for immediate professional assistance 24-hour a day.

With the help of CHILD LINE it has become possible to lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the children. It has led to the improvement in the nutritional and health status of children resulting in reducing incidence of child mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout. CHILD LINE has helped in achieving co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development.

CHILD LINE works with children in need of care and protection with the view to ensure their basic right. Usually it works with children up to 18 years of age but in special circumstances it also assists girls and boys of upto 25 years of age. Commonly, the following children come in contact with CHILD LINE.

  • Street children living alone on the street
  • Missing children
  • Children abandoned by parents/guardians
  • Children in need of medical help
  • Child labourers
  • Domestic help, especially girl domestics
  • Children who have been abused (Whether mentally/physically/sexually/economically within the family or by others in their environment)
  • Children who need emotional support and guidance
  • Child victims of flesh trade and children of sex workers
  • Child addicts
  • Children in conflict with law
  • Children in institutions
  • Mentally ill children
  • Children affected by conflicts and disasters
  • Children whose families are in crises.
  • Such children who are denied of their basic rights.

CHILD LINE conducts various outreach programs according to a predetermined schedule so as to know the problems faced by children in community. It also conducts open house with the help of residents of areas so as to spread awareness about CHILD LINE and other child related issues like child labour, child marriages, child sexual abuse etc. using street and role plays, cultural programs, debates, puppet shows, etc. as tools.

CHILD LINE team deals with various type of cases so as to make the community child friendly. It majorly classifies its operations into three categories as

Intervention

In intervention, CHILD LINE first gathers information about the cases from the caller checks the authenticity of the information and then intervenes in between if they find that the case is authentic. CHILD LINE rescues the child from the unsuitable condition and also provides him/her proper counselling. During intervention, CHILD LINE also takes the help of local authorities and government departments.

Awareness

CHILD LINE conducts various awareness programs in slums, schools, communities etc. It takes the help of its volunteers and spread awareness through posters, skits, marathons etc. CHILD LINE thinks that creating Awareness among people is very important in order to curb the injustice done against children from the root level. AAs has recently also come across a case where people have reported child abuse who were made aware through awareness campaigns conducted by CHILD LINE.

Advocacy

CHILD LINE also makes non-government and government departments aware of their duties and responsibilities by writing letter or making report in the situation when it sees that the child rights have been snatched. For example, CHILD LINE recently wrote letter to Education department so as to implement RTE act which was not strictly followed in the city.