BENGALURU: A helpline for children in the State, affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, was launched on Monday by the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) with the help of the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD).“The helpline — 080-47181177 — will operate from 10 am to 5pm and will be received by a Commission member or one of the DWCD officials within the district or the region,” said Dr Antony Sebastian, Chairperson, KSCPCR.
He said that in the event of the lockdown and the absence of migrant workers, cases of child labour, child marriage and child abuse are being reported from some districts in the state.“The Commission has taken a very serious view of these reports and has directed the concerned District Collectors to take stringent action against the perpetrators. The Commission being responsible for the protection of child rights, including access to nutrition and health services, and other difficulties that children are facing, needed a mechanism to reach the complainant without loss of time. Hence, we thought of launching a dedicated helpline for children,” he said.
“The temporary closure of schools and the loss of livelihood of their parents have adversely impacted children. The helpline is an effort to protect them and their rights,” said Additional Chief Secretary
Rakesh Singh at the launch of the helpline.“The unprecedented situation arising out of the pandemic requires speedy action on issues relating to children. Hence, this joint effort of the Commission, the DWCD, UNICEF and Indus Action,” said S George, child protection specialist, UNICEF.