6 Apr 2010

Invisible Labour

A large segment of child labour that is invisible is that of the girl child. A large number of girls are burdened with household work when both the parents go out to work. This includes work like fetching water, fuel wood, cooking, cleaning the house and looking after the younger siblings. In such cases, no law can be applied to rid the girls of their household responsibilities, and access the education and recreation facilities comparable to their affluent counterparts.

Primarily the child labour cases are related to the calls for rescue from abuse. Of the millions of calls received by CHILDLINE, about 5% of calls are reported for protection against physical, sexual or financial abuse of children. According to ChildNET (the documentation software for CHILDLINE data) out of the total calls received for abuse approximately 86% constitute for physical abuse, 6% for sexual abuse and 5% for financial abuse. For the year 2008-2009 there were 4,541 cases for protection against abuse, wherein physical abuse at workplace was highest followed by physical abuse in the family.

The ChildNET data on sexual abuse shows that out of the total cases of sexual abuse cases reported, in 74% of cases the victims are female children, and 72% of females are sexually abused at work place.

1 Apr 2010

Leaving footprints with Vodafone

On March 18th 
2010, at the Vodafone Corporate Office Terrace, a shamiana was ready to slot in employee-volunteers, CHILDLINE Team and children. It was mid morning, and the summer sun had set in to blaze the Mumbai City already, but still the enthusiasm and the burning-to-do-good inside people’s heart gave the sun quite a match.

The Vodafone employees were briefed about CHILDLINE and the next task as hand, i.e. the outreach and its objective, conduct & methods. Instantly the group split into three, inclusive of CHILDLINE team- members and spread out to three different locations: LP Station, J. K. Marg & Mahalaxmi Signal – to begin what they had set out to do.

They set about distributing fliers, sticking stickers and posters in small shops as they spoke to the owners, dialling in to 1098 from phone booths to make sure the numbers connected, urging people to save the number 1098 into their phones and to call whenever they saw a child in distress.


The effect was such that the whole area was buzzing with questions about 1098 and had elements of CHILDLINE pantone green all over, on walls, in people’s hands and most importantly in their minds. Some volunteer’s enthusiasm also took them to a nearby Radio: Red FM’s office and do a spontaneous awareness live on air. It also reattributed to 2-3 cases of children in distress being reported while on outreach.
The sweltering sun couldn’t do enough to kill people’s enthusiasm and its attempts just melted as beads of perspiration.

Back to base, around lunchtime, the volunteers were greeted by CHILDLINE children from Yuva, Humara and CIU shelters. Refuelled, the employees and children had an impromptu dance session which set the ball rolling for the games, in which each employee participated with a child buddy for the day.  And last but not the least, the sessions with colours, wherein they painted Mugs, bags, bookmarks, greeting cards with their buddies was one of utter concentration with mixed mirth. These items were later auctioned off within Vodafone to contribute to our cause.

Before the goodbye’s the children put up a performance of b-boy and bollywood moves amidst loud cheer and claps. And as the children set off for their shelter homes with their goodie-bags they left behind a day full of touching memories for the Vodafone Employees.