Government integrates Child Helpline with Emergency Response Support System

New Delhi [India], June 21 (ANI): As a part of the one nation, one helpline, the Ministry of Women and Child issued guidelines for the Mission Vatsalya Scheme subsuming the erstwhile Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme, stated an official release from the ministry.

According to the scheme the Child Helpline will be run in coordination with the State and District functionaries including Police, Counselors, and Case Workers and integrated with the Emergency Response Support System 112 (ERSS-112) helpline of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

“Ministry has also issued detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for Child Helpline to all States/UTs for implementation of Child Helpline Services in the country. A 24×7 dedicated WCD Control Room (WCD-CR) will be set up for Child Helpline in each State/UT and will be integrated with ERSS-112,” read the release from the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

As part of the broader vision of One Nation One Helpline, and as prioritised during the 2nd National Chief Secretaries’ Conference, the Ministry has taken a decision to integrate of Women Helpline, and Child Helpline with ERSS-112 (Emergency Response Support System).

Ministry under the erstwhile Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme was supporting this 24×7 helpline Childline 1098 service, through Childline India Foundation (CIF) and its partner NGOs.

It said that childline India Foundation (CIF) was the ‘MOTHER NGO’ managing this service as Childline. CIF is rendering Childline Services in 568 districts, 135 Railway Stations and 11 Bus Stands through its network of 1000+ units. The response time CIF is about 60 minutes to respond to children’s distress calls.

The current system however lacks interoperability with other services like Police, Fire, and Ambulance which leads to the loss of precious time in distress situations. Furthermore, the CIF network could cover only 568 districts which had left almost 200 districts uncovered under ChildLine.

Therefore, the government has taken a decision to integrate the Child Helpline with ERSS-112 so that the responsibility of the administration towards children is taken over and made functional through responsible and responsive administration.

“The Child Helpline system run in collaboration with the States and UTs will have a positive effect on strengthening the Service Delivery structures under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2015 as amended in 2021.

The technical integration with the ERSS-112 is expected to usher in a seamless flow of information which will aid the repatriation and restoration of children in vulnerable situations within the district, state and across the States and UTs effectively,” it read.

Unit at District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) will be available round the clock to provide

outreach service for children in crisis linking them to emergency and long-term care and

rehabilitation services. States/UTs as per the SoPs of Railways would continue in setting up of Child Help Desk/Kiosk/ Booth at the selected Railway Stations and Bus Stands

The transition of the Child Helpline is in progress and is being made operational by taking over Childline in 09 States/UTs in a phase-wise manner. The first phase has 09 States/UTs namely: Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli & Daman & Diu, Gujarat, Goa, Ladakh, Mizoram and Puducherry for which taking over will be completed by Juen 30, 2023.