Mumbai, March 3, 2021: The Hope Run, India’s first virtual marathon conceived by The Hands of Hope Foundation, in partnership with CHILDLINE India Foundation along with Sahiyo, took place on February 27 and 28 (participants have the flexibility to walk/run as part of the event up to March 7), where registered runners from across the world ran, jogged and walked a distance of their choice, in a location of their choice (based on their local COVID-19 protocols), and helped raise awareness and funds for the cause.
The funds raised will be used by 35 hard-working child rights organisations from across India. In a country where 405 crimes are committed against children every day, and where 53 per cent of children have faced sexual abuse, it is a herculean task for child rights organisations to create a better world for our kids.
Bringing attention to the causes of child abuse and child rights is particularly significant during this COVID-19 pandemic that has besieged the country for the past year. With funds and philanthropic other resources understandably diverted towards COVID-19 relief work, issues of child abuse and child rights have taken a backseat, making it difficult for non-profit organisations to continue their work.
Speaking on the partnership, Dr Anjaiah Pandiri, Executive Director, CHILDLINE India Foundation said, “The Hope Run 2021 is an event to call for action to the issue of child abuse. This year alone, CHILDLINE 1098 has rescued or intervened in 3.32 Lakh children. One in four interventions or more than 84,000 cases are related to protection from abuse. Children are our future and it is our responsibility as a civil society to provide children with a safe space and protect them from abuse.”
Elaborating on the same, Insia Dariwala, Founder and President, The Hands of Hope Foundation (THOHF) said, “THOHF is one of the first NGOs to exclusively use the creative medium in addressing child sexual abuse through its innovative creative campaigns. One of our biggest victories to date is that our Photo Campaign was instrumental in bringing the government’s attention to Male Child Sexual Abuse and amending compensation laws to ensure proper justice for male victims as well. Through ‘The Hope Run’, we aim to bridge the gap between the general public and other child welfare organisations who have been tirelessly working to end all forms of child abuse.”
CHILDLINE 1098 supports not only through tele-service but has an active outreach in PAN India districts. The designated teams take up interventions on the ground while working closely with the related Government Departments and active support from the local district administration. 44.4 lakh calls were responded to by the helpline and 3.32 lakh children were assisted/rescued during the pandemic. It fields 15,000 calls on a daily basis. These calls include calls for information, child protection concerns requiring on-ground intervention, prank/crank calls, or even silent calls even where the confidence building of the caller is undertaken. The helpline is providing information about COVID-19 prevention as well as referring to the relief services through district-level linkages.