Programme to be launched on November 14

When 10-year-old Azif Abdul (name changed) saw that a boy his age was not going to school but was working at a nearby shop, all he did was dial 1098, a national 24-hour free phone emergency outreach service for the children in distress.

This simple and thoughtful act did not just save the boy from being employed as child labour.

From it, grew the idea of starting Childline clubs in schools.

This Children’s Day, Childline clubs will be begun in schools as an initiative from the Childline Centre.

Childline is a programme under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Any one can dial the toll free number to avail themselves of the services.

The Childline clubs, which will begin in more than 35 schools in the city in the first phase, is being initiated in connection with the national-level Childline Se Dosti (CSD) campaign.

Strenghten activities

This addition is expected to strengthen the activities of the Childline centre in the city, which was started in 2000 and is supported by the Social Welfare Department.

Various programmes are being planned in connection with the CSD week from November 14-20.

The campaign aims to make ordinary citizens stakeholders in Childline.

“The objective is to reach out to people from different walks of life to make them aware of Childline. Instead of lamenting over the child’s fate, the citizens should begin to care for vulnerable children and initiate action towards change. This campaign is to generate a Million ‘Dosts’ (friends) for Childline and acquaint people with laws on child rights and protection,” said Maneesh M. Nair, district coordinator.

According to him, most cases of abandoned children are reported from railway stations and bus depots.

Therefore, it is important to reach out to the crowd in these places and make them aware of the Childline activity.

Platform 2

Women and Child Help Centre at Platform two at the Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station, which has been handling such cases, will organise a mobile poster exhibition at the Railway station as part of the awareness.