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CHILDLINE 1098 SERVICE » History » Motivation behind setting up CHILDLINE

Motivation behind setting up CHILDLINE

Motivation of CHILDLINE India FoundationMs Billimoria always found time to interact with children staying on railway stations or Mumbai's night shelters. Children started calling her in crisis at her residence at any point of day and night.

The seeds of CHILDLINE were sown by the urgency of such calls and the fact that all of these were late in the night; after all other voluntary services were closed for the day. Each time, Jeroo had to rush out to take these children to hospitals, police stations, shelters, anywhere to get help.

"Each call was a validation of my work with them," says Jeroo. "It meant they trusted me to do something" but do what, was the big question! She could not answer every call for help, or do everything for the thousands of street children who call Mumbai, home. A tele-helpline could!

It was the need expressed by the children on the streets that drove Jeroo to take this initiative. The need to have instant support when they are ill, injured or just needed to talk to someone. The need for care and protection when un-reached by any other service. To have a one-point contact that would quickly connect children to services that they need during or after a crisis.

Once the urgent emergency services were provided, the helpline would counsel the child further and ask if she needed more support. It would open up an array of long-term rehabilitation services for his/her to avail.

These were the reasons that prompted Jeroo to launch CHILDLINE, India's first 24-hour emergency telephone service, to provide assistance and care for homeless street children.