NEW DELHI: The children’s helpline, 1098, will continue to function, and its integration with national emergency number 112 will ensure interoperability and aid in expanding the spectrum of emergency services accessible to children.
Debunking misinformation regarding the helpline, The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) confirmed, “The Ministry would continue to operate the Helpline 1098 in strict compliance with the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act 2015,”
The hotline 1098, formerly known as Childline, has been renamed Children Helpline.
It further said that calls to 1098 will be routed to the Ministry of WCD’s Children Helpline, where the youngster would receive the appropriate support. However, the back-end technical integration with Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) 112 would “increase the extent of access to emergency response services through voice call, SMS, and be GPS and GIS-enabled.”
This interoperability between the ERSS 112 and the Children Helpline 1098 will guarantee that all distress calls for or from children that land on 112 are forwarded to the Children Helpline in real-time and get quick responsive action.
The Ministry stated that it was seeking to fix various constraints in the operation of 1098.
The current Children Helpline 1098 is only available in 603 of the country’s 750+ districts. Reaching out to a youngster takes roughly 60 minutes, which is completely inadequate. The call records are manually kept and lack interoperability with other agencies such as police, fire, and ambulance, resulting in lost time in emergency circumstances. The Ministry wants to solve these flaws in the newly redesigned system.
Children Helpline 1098 will also have additional solutions such as voice calls, SMS service, intelligent call distribution, call conferencing, digital logging of all voice conversations, caller location identification, feedback mechanism, and identification of the most vulnerable crime hotspots on an integrated Geographic Information System group.