Vodafone Idea Foundation Launches Case Reporting System for CHILDLINE 1098 in Partnership with NASSCOM Foundation

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New Delhi: Vodafone Idea Foundation, the CSR arm of Vodafone Idea Limited, in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation launched a new and improved CHILDLINE 1098’s Case Reporting System for CHILDLINE India Foundation. CHILDLINE India Foundation is the implementation partner and together with UNICEF is also the knowledge partner for this solution. The system was launched through a virtual panel discussion on ‘COVID-19 and Children at Risk – Can Technology Help?’

CHILDLINE 1098 is the national emergency helpline and crisis response service, exclusively for children in distress. It works in a public-private partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, and is mandated as an essential care and rehabilitation service for children in the Child Protection Services Schemes.

This unique technology-based solution helps CHILDLINE 1098’s frontline workers by providing them with immediate, and more informed responses. This system hopes to increase response efficiencies for CHILDLINE 1098 in a time when the call volumes have increased due to COVID.

As a part of the solution, a Learning Management System for the CHILDLINE 1098’s frontline workers is also being developed. This will help the CHILDLINE 1098’s frontline workers in acquiring the necessary skills to respond to children who are vulnerable.

The solution has been developed under the Vodafone India Foundation’s Solutions for Good initiative.

Speaking at the launch, P. Balaji, Director, Vodafone Idea Foundation and Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer, VIL said, “In the last one year of the pandemic, we have witnessed ill-effects on children – be it physical, mental or emotional – due to loss of parents or caretakers, and many other reasons. To address this problem of the society, we along with NASSCOM Foundation and UNICEF, developed a solution leveraging technology to help frontline social workers to manage the situation better. We are optimistic that the new and improved version of ‘CHILDLINE 1098’ will strengthen the system through faster and more efficient response to children in need.”

CHILDLINE India Foundation is the implementation partner and knowledge partner for the programme.

Dr Anjaiah Pandiri, Executive Director, CHILDLINE India Foundation, said, “We at CHILDLINE are delighted to partner with NASSCOM, UNICEF and Vodafone Idea to co-create and implement technology solutions, which will help 1098 to reach more children faster, assist better and thereby prevent distress while strengthening the quality of emergency outreach services!!”

UNICEF is also the knowledge partner for the programme.

Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative said, “Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing inequalities and vulnerabilities around social and economic realms, especially in relation to children and young people. Collective and concerted efforts are needed to ensure that the impact of the pandemic on children is minimised as it carries the potential to unravel the significant progress made over the years on child marriage, child labour, unsafe migration, and trafficking as well as on child protection. In India, UNICEF remains committed to supporting the efforts led by the Government of India towards building a safe and secure environment for girls and boys where they are free from all forms of abuse, exploitation and neglect. Today, we are pleased to join hands with NASSCOM as a knowledge partner in their initiative to create technology solutions to strengthen systems for a faster and more efficient response to children in distress.”

NASSCOM Foundation is the principal partner for the program and has lent technology expertise to the development of the solution.

Nidhi Bhasin, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “COVID is not only affecting children’s health, it has socio-economic impact such as mental health issues, physical abuse in underserved communities, a possible break in school education due to the lack of digital device and falling prey to online predators. Hence, there is an urgent need to help, protect and keep children safe. We are glad that, in partnership with Vodafone India Foundation and UNICEF, we have developed a solution for CHILDLINE 1098, so that the helpline is able to increase the quantum of children assisted and provide faster and more informed responses to the children in distress.”

CHILDLINE 1098 personnel are first responders to attend to children in need of care and protection across the country, to bring them under the safety net of child protection mechanisms. From April 2020 to March 2021, it fielded over five million calls and provided assistance to 392,000+ children through emergency rescues and assistance that either prevented abuse and violence, or reduced vulnerabilities from being compounded. There was a 13 per cent increase in interventions carried out by CHILDLINE 1098 from the previous year, pointing to the heightened risks and threats that children have faced during the COVID-19 crisis.