Child Helpline 1098 to remain in operation — WCD ministry
New Delhi, Sep. 14 (PTI): The Ministry of Women and Child Development has clarified that distress calls landing on Child Helpline 1098 will henceforth also connect the caller with Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) Helpline No 112 for quick action.
The clarification comes in response to media reports that 1098 was being transferred to the Ministry of Home Affairs and it would be operated under ERSS.
The ministry said the interoperability was mooted as 1098 is limited to only 603 out of the more than 750 districts in the country.
Further, the revamped system will also connect callers with ambulance, fire service and local police, the ministry said in a statement.
“The process of reaching out to a child (in distress) takes about 60 minutes, which is absolutely unsatisfactory. The call logs are maintained manually and lack interoperability with other services such as police, fire and ambulance, leading to loss of precious time in distress situations. The ministry intends to address these shortcomings in the new revamped system,” it said.
The other services on offer are intelligent call distribution, call conferencing, digital logging of all voice conversations, caller location identification, feedback mechanism and identification of most vulnerable areas of crime on integrated GIS map.
The ministry said it will continue to administer 1098.
“The back-end technological integration with the ERSS 112 is expected to enhance the scope of access to emergency response services through voice call, SMS, and be GPS and GIS,” the ministry said.
This interoperability will ensure that all distress calls for help for or by children, if landing on 112, shall be transferred to 1098 in real time and immediate response action will take place. The detailed guidelines for operation of Childline are under process, it said.