In the childline contact centre (1098) in the city, crank calls outnumber the genuine ones, adding to the woes of lack of infrastructure. The silent calls account for 46,655 last year, while the contact centre received 2,560 crank calls, besides wrong calls resulting in three phones ringing continuously.
Sources said the Soc-Sead, a NGO was given a pilot project to run the round the clock childline care by Child India Foundation from the year 2011. With the awareness on crimes against children like child abuse and child marriage increasing everyday in rural areas, such calls were flooding the centre which has only a staff strength of 12. “Crank calls, which make false claims, give wrong informations and seek unrelated details are blocking the genuine ones, making them abandon their efforts”, S Thiyagarajan, coordinator, childline nodal agency, told Express. He further added that such cals would not matter, if the childline care has proper infrastructure including sufficient staff. “Since the contact centre has only three telephones, surely this kind of disturbing calls could prevent genuine calls”, a staff of the childline care told Express, adding that a large number of drunkards simply prefer the number and start using abusive languages, while some prefer to remain mute. This could be compensated, if the officials extended the infrastructure, the official added.