Process of identifying NGOs in Tiruvarur on

Childline, the country’s largest child protection network providing emergency phone outreach service for children in need of care and protection, will be extended to three more districts in the State.

The service would be started in Tiruvarur, Erode and Theni districts with approval having been obtained from the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development which supports Childline 1098 project and works in partnership with State governments and non-governmental organisations in providing the national service. While a non-governmental organisation has already been identified to run the Childline in Erode, the process of identifying NGOs in Tiruvarur was on and a few of them have been shortlisted in Theni. The Childline in Erode is expected to ring by March, John Bosk, Senior Programme Coordinator, Childline India Foundation, Chennai said here.

Childline India Foundation would recommend the shortlisted NGOs list to the project screening committee of the Ministry which would finalise the organisations. The Childline at Tiruvarur and Theni is expected to function by mid 2013-14 fiscal, Mr. Bosk said.

Childline is presently operational in 26 districts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry besides Karaikal.

Over the last few months, the emergency outreach service was started in Namakkal, Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri. With Childline poised to expand to three more districts in the near future, the districts which were yet to be covered would be Sivaganga, Perambalur and the Nilgiris, Mr. Bosk said.

Reaching out to marginalised children with the aim of providing rehabilitation and care from unsafe situations, Childline provides shelter, medical aid, emotional support and guidance to children in distress besides reuniting missing and runaway children rescued by them to their parents.

Childline is presently operational in 259 cities across 30 States and Union Territories in the country ever since it was initiated as a pilot project in Mumbai in 1996.

In addition to providing outreach service, Childline has also engaged in starting child rights clubs in schools and creating awareness of child rights and aspects connected with it.

Mr. Bosk said Childline received around 7,000 interventional calls across the State during the 2011-12 financial year, adding that most number of them came from children. As many as 1,323 children across the State were restored to their parents/guardian during the period.