Monday, February 06, 2006

Know Childline 1098

I just attended a short presentation by our company's social welfare foundation and United way Mumbay( Our company's partner in reaching out to NGOs). It was for an initiative called informed giving, about knowing where you are donating, who you are actually helping.

Now, Our company does a lot of these work, as I blogged about SEARCH, earlier. If you don't know about it yet, SEARCH (Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health), is about a couple of US educated Doctors who have taken up the tasks of providing healthcare to tribals in Gadchiroli, a region in Maharastra inhabited by the gonds. And they have done exemplary work and many of their practice and finding have been not only pioneering but have become the basis of certain studies.

Today, the presentation was on Childline, a 24 hour toll free helpline for children. And as the endorser said, in the presentation, they are not there to preach or change the world but to be there in the time of need, for the children. [ The page on childline on Unitedway here] .
This NGO is a NUMBER.

The NUMBER is 1098 ( read 10-9-8, Dus Nau Aath),

...every street children in Mumbai knows this number and so do a lot of other children in more than 60 cities. But we, the educated class and the adults don't know about the number, 1098 which have reached out thousands of kids in distress. Hundreds of people working or volunteering for Childline does a lot of awareness program for the street children, but the phone number is not only for the children but for us as well. And we don't know. Seriously, did you?

It is so often that we see a child we want to reach out to, and help, but somehow we just go on with our lives. Maybe, if it were a serious mater like the case of Dhruta, the neighbours did took up the action in their hands, but all those small incidents, those fleeting instances when you feel," maybe I could help this kid" but due to inertia or with your busy schedule, or personal things that you are already tied up with, you just went on with your work... It is at those instance that we can pick up the phone and call this number. It is the least we could do. They will be there where you couldn't. Do inform. PICK up the phone, Dial 1098. And it's free. And it will make a difference.

As their website says,

Do visit their website, and also educate your close circle.
.....About 1098 (Ten-Nine-Eight)

It will matter. If anyone can make a small banner like the "Tsunami remembrance week" to be adorned at the corner of my blog with a link back to the childline webpage, It would be great. or maybe a link back to United way, since they work with a lot of other NGOs. Or tell me how to make it. I see spread googletalk in the script..maybe I will R&D later tonight. I am blogging from work anyway, since everybody had gone for lunch( my boss sits right behind to me, got to get a monitor rear-view mirror)

This a personal endorsement, something that I thought I could and must do. It has nothing to do with my company or the organisation. But of course I thank my company for the effort they are taking, and arranging the presentation in the middle of work.

One last thing, it is not just street children that they are helping. There are kids from well to do families with problems, runaways, and victims of abuse. many children from well to do families also call Childline. And childline is there 24 hours.

What I like about childline is that they do little things that matter for a million children instead of doing a lot of things for 10-20 children.

As the website says,
Any concerned adult or a child in need of help can dial 1098, the toll free number to access our services. We not only respond to the emergency needs of children but also link them to services for their long-term care and rehabilitation.

Read my post on SEARCH.

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