NEW DELHI: A counselling platform to provide emotional and psychological help to the children of slain Border Security Force (BSF) personnel was launched on Friday here.
The link will be available through a toll-free number 1800-1-236-236 and a weblink (www.ncpcr.gov.in), and counsellors appointed by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) will operate them, a BSF spokesperson said.
An event was held at the headquarters of the border guarding force here at the CGO complex on Lodhi Road where BSF Director General Rakesh Asthana and NCPCR chairman Priyank Kanoongo launched the facility called 'SAHARA' or supportive action with holistic approach to build resilience among the children of armed police forces personnel.
"During my personal interaction with the families of those personnel who were killed while being on duty, I found that the economic support that we provide to them was not all," Asthana said.
"They, especially children, feel like destitute due to the sudden death in the family and hence we planned to provide this SAHARA counselling helpline," he said.
The BSF chief said an estimated 400 personnel are killed in a year during duty due to various reasons.
He added that children from other paramilitary or Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) can also take benefit of this counselling platform.
Kanoongo said NCPCR experts, including those based in various states, will try to ensure psycho-social well being of these children so that their aspirations are not affected.
He said the NCPCR has got the names of 674 children of slain BSF personnel till now.
"SAHARA is aimed at providing emotional support, psycho-social first aid and counselling for the children, and this facility will be functional from 10 AM-5 PM Monday to Friday," the BSF spokesperson said.
The about 2.65 lakh personnel BSF is the country's largest border guarding force and it is primarily tasked to guard Indian fronts with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
It also is tasked to render a variety of internal security duties.