30 Nov 2010

Safe School Campaign launched in Ganjam District

On November 29, 2010, CHILDLINE Behrampur launched Safe School Campaign in Ganjam District. CHILDLINE Behrampur in association with OACRC, Bhubaneswar organised a day long talk on safe and child friendly school at Ramaharinagar Saraswati Sisubidya Mandir on November 29, 2010. The Safe School Campaign was launched in Ganjam District to promote the concept of child friendly schools & successful implementation of the right to free and compulsory education act.

Addressing a talk organised in connection with the inaugural of Safe School Campaign, Dr. Bauribandhu Sahu said Children have the right to express their opinion. Commenting on the RTE, he said The Right to education act is the result of thought and deliberation of imminent persons & educationists of our country and reflects the socio-economic status of the country expressed, Dr. Sahu.

Dr. U.S.Murty, Chairman, Child Welfare Committee, Ganjam explained about the constitutional provisions in regard to the idea of safe school for children. Mr. Sudhir Sabat, Director, CHILDLINE Behrampur said that the campaign is meant to sensitize community for a collective action towards ending all forms of discrimination, abuse and violence against children in schools and make the environment conducive, child friendly and enjoyable for children and to learn without fear.

The future of every country lies in the hands of their youth but the future of the young ones lies on the way the leaders of the country handle their education sector," expressed a 13 year old participant during the meet. Students, members of parents and teachers union from 32 schools in Ganjam, district participated in the programme. During the meet, an art exhibition was organized on the theme "Different Forms of Child Abuse and Prevention.

21 Nov 2010

CHILDLINE participates in the Airtel Delhi Half marathon 2010

New Delhi: On the November 21, 2010, CHILDLINE participated in the Airtel Delhi Half marathon 2010 at Central Civil Services Ground, Delhi. This year as well saw four categories, the 21km Half Marathon , the 6km Dream Run, the 4km Senior Citizens Run and the 2.5 km Wheelchair Event.

The Sixth edition of this path breaking event motivated a cross section of the city's citizenry, young and old, from all walks of life, to come together and raise monies for causes of their choice. CHILDLINE marked its presence with a team consists of 43 children and adults all waving their flags and posters and lustily singing the CHILDLINE Song "Dus Nau Aath" all along the race route. The morning winter chill did not deter the spirits of more than 30,000 people who participated with a great deal of enthusiasm in various categories like the 21km Half Marathon , the 6km Dream Run, the 4km Senior Citizens Run and the 2.5 km Wheelchair Event.

On the race day once the elite athletes were flagged off on their Half Marathon, there were thousands of people who hit the roads. They participated in the Half Marathon, The Great Delhi Run, The Dream Run and the Wheelchair Event. There were runners dressed in CHILDLINE T-shirts, caps brandished placards on Child Protection and waving CHILDLINE flags and banners. Their vociferous chants did not go unnoticed with the audience there.

This year CHILDLINE Ms.Preet Dhupar ran as Dream Runner and Rajeev Vaid as Dream maker who participated enthusiastically in the marathon. CIF team with supporters participated with gusto wearing the CHILDLINE T shirts and caps and waving banners sang the 1098 song along the race route supporting CHILDLINE.

Ms. Preet Dhupar ran as a Dream Runner for CHILDLINE. This was her fifth consecutive run for CHILDLINE at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and raised a substantial sum for CHILDLINE. Being asked about her experiences and her motivation to participate in the Marathon, Ms. Preet Dhupar said, "Marathons have become a great platform for people to raise awareness and support and gain visibility for various causes. Delhi half marathon is becoming livelier each year and Delhiites are imbibing the spirit of giving and one of Delhi's most keenly awaited sporting celebrations."

CHILDLINE is in aid of children and children have always been able to pull at my heartstrings, added to that was the challenge to my own self to be able to collect money and do the run. I have also been fortunate that I have had the continued support of friends that keep me in the run every year and it is brilliant that new people also contribute each year and I wish that I could do more, she added.

CHILDLINE express sincere gratitude to all our supporters both corporates and individuals who have supported us by running and raising pledges and spreading awareness about CHILDLINE 1098 service.

14 Nov 2010

Mumbai CHILDLINE Birthday Party 2010

CHILDLINE celebrated 14th CHILDLINE Mumbai Birthday Party at BMC Krida Bhavan, Dadar on November 14, 2010. 1000 Street children from across Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan from CHILDINE partners' shelter came for the Party with much enthusiasm and energy.

Mumbai Birthday Party is an annual celebration for the street children of Mumbai. This day is very special for each and every child, as most of them celebrate this day as their own birthday . They have no memories of a family or their birth year. For them it's their very own birthday party and they look forward to with much cheer and anticipation.

It was a memorable evening full of fun with balloons, streamers, food, drinks, music and the highlight being the performance by the International Clowns. The Birthday party was not just fun but it was entertaining as Clowns performed mime, pantomime, music, comedy, magic, balloon sculpting, juggling, unicycling, acrobats and stilt shows.... the kids had the most memorable time. Laughter and enchantment percolated during the innovative show as the clowns entered into a playful conspiracy with the kids.

Children attired in colourful costumes danced away to latest bollywood hits till the night. They also took part in different fun games, face painting and tattoo. Finally children were served with Biryani dinner and were given gift packets at the end of the party. This year CHILDLINE Mumbai Birthday Party was sponsored by Axis Bank Foundation.

CHILDLINE Walkathon 2010

Making a difference this Children's day was the CHILDLINE Walkathon 2010, an initiative by CHILDLINE in association with Rotary Club of Mumbai-Queen's necklace at Police Gymkhana, Marine Drive on November 14, 2010.The walkathon was flagged off by Neerja Birla.

Hundreds of people participated in the CHILDLINE Walkathon organised as a part of CHILDLINE Se Dosti celebrations. Commenced held at the Police Gymkhana at 7.30 am, the initiative saw an overwhelming support and participation from young volunteers, social activists and the general public who walked hand in hand along the scenic Queen's necklace of Mumbai from Police gymkhana Marine Lines, towards H2O and back to the Police Gymkhana.

The unique Walkathon aimed at creating a mass movement and bringing about awareness in the society about child rights and protection issues.This fun-filled event saw a walk through the scenic Queen's necklace of Mumbai, performances by International clown and Police band marched en route to the final destination. The participants supporting CHILDLINE were clearly visible with their white CHILDLINE T-Shirts and CHILDLINE flags and banners. The walk was vibrant with the hoops of joy from the children and people from all walks of life came together to support the cause. Just before the walkathon, all the participants pledged to
Dial 1098
For any help my dost might need
Object / Oppose
To any harm being caused to my dost
Speak up
Against those who cause harm to my dost

My dost with dignity, respect and love, promise to be a true CHILDLINE dost

This initiative was proposed with the hope that with each person who walks, a new 'dost' is made.Speaking on the occasion, Ms.Kajol Menon, executive director, CHILDLINE India Foundation, said, "We at CHILDLINE believe that for a helpline to be successful and effective in reaching out to the millions of children deprived of their childhood, we need to work in a partnership framework."

CHILDLINE Se Dosti is a campaign to make ordinary citizens stakeholders in CHILDLINE 1098. We want people from all walks of life to get to know CHILDLINE, begin to care about vulnerable children and appreciate the need for protecting our children be it a student, a taxi driver, an IT professional, a rickshaw puller or a housewife. From one dost to a million I hope it has a ripple effect she added.
CHILDLINE Walkathon was part of CHILDLINE se dosti, a week long awareness campaign which integrated various activities like Short Film Making, Photography Competition, Suraksha Banshan, Painting Competition, etc.

In addition to the support from a multitude of students from various schools and colleges who volunteered to ensure the smooth functioning of CHILDLINE Walkathon 2010, the initiative received great support from the Queen's Necklace chapter of the Rotary Club.CHILDLINE Walkathon at Mumbai was the start of a nationwide program. Soon the Walkathon will be in other cities.

13 Nov 2010

CHILDLINE Delhi Birthday Party 2010

CHILDLINE Delhi has completed 12 years of its functioning reaching out to over one lakh children every year. Children call 1098 to share their problems, grief, pain and happiness with the CHILDLINE teams. At CHILDLINE, children's voices and feedback has always been precious. Taking this relationship with children forward, CHILDLINE Delhi celebrated 12th Birthday at Delhi with a party for children from the children's home, the streets and slums of Delhi on November 13, 2010.

This was an informal fun filled event with food, music, dance, food, music, and other fun activities for the children. CHILDLINE birthday party is very special as most of them celebrate this day as their birthday since they have no memories of a family or birth year. For them it's their very own birthday party and they look forward to with much cheer and anticipation

Hundreds of children from various children's home, contact points, railway stations and communities came to have a ball of a time.. Amidst balloons and streamers and other festivities, the kids also came up with some performances. Volunteers from colleges, organisations helped us in decoration, registration and logistics/work for the day. And if all of this wasn't enough to get their tummies rumbling, there were yummy treats and drinks and finally the dinner. For those who wanted to chill a bit and take a break from dancing to hard to bollywood music . There were also these various stalls for games, mehandi, face painting and tattoo.

We would like to acknowledge the support extended by Lite Bite Foods for providing snacks, drinks , dinner for 600 children and volunteers; NIIT and Fluor Daniel for transport, entertainment arrangements and all individual donors for their generous support and participation during the party.

10 Nov 2010

CHILDLINE Bus drive at New Delhi

CHILDLINE in association with GMR Varalakshmi Foundation organised CHILDLINE Bus outreach programme on November 9, 2010. Six proactive employees from GMR came on board as volunteers in the program to raise awareness on CHILDLINE and children issues. The aim was to create awareness on CHILDLINE to a greater audience specially youth in Delhi. CHILDLINE Bus drive started from GMR and picked up the children from New Udaan Bhawan, Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi.

CHILDLINE Bus was an opportunity to get together and create an aware culture towards child rights and protection said a volunteer from GMR. With this drive, the hope was that for each person who steps on this bus, a new 'dost' was made and the lives of many under-privileged children is being changed.
50 CHILDLINE volunteers also joined in and organized outreach at Jamia Millia Islamia, Lady Shri Ram College,and Delhi Haat. On November 9, 2010. The energetic group of volunteers landed at Jamia Millia Islamia university campus in Delhi. The event at Jamia Millia Islamia witnessed a large number of students who came forward to know about CHILDLINE 1098 service.

Students came forward to volunteer for the cause of children and pledged to call 1098 whenever they see a Child in distress. CHILDLINE city coordinator briefed people on types of cases received by CHILDLINE Delhi and the nature of intervention carried out by CHILDLINE.

The street play performed by the children from Don Bosco Ashalayam attracted large crowd. People from all walks of life came together and lighted the candles as a symbolic gesture of commitment to Child Protection. GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, a CSR unit of GMR extended their support by facilitating the programme.

8 Nov 2010

Suraksha Bandhan at Delhi

Police has been the premier agency from the state dealing with crime and criminal. The victim was just a witness in the criminal justice system with the primary focus being on the criminal. However, in the 21st century, the police slowly and steadily assumed many social responsibilities, be it for the socially backward, deprived senior citizens or the battered women in difficult situations. However, somehow the focus on children could not gain momentum till the coming into force of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 came into force.

Even after the JJ Act the momentum of reforms and modifications in the criminal procedures adopted by the police came much later with amendment in 2006 and modal Juvenile Rules. In its endeavour to create the child friendly police upholding all the rights of a juvenile, Delhi Police has created the necessary child friendly infrastructure.

As a part of CHILDLINE se Dosti celebrations, CHILDLINE Delhi Organised Suraksha Bandhan on November 08, 2010 at Don Bosco Provincial House, Okhla to honour the officials of the Delhi Police for their proactive role in child protection cases. For most calls to CHILDLINE 1098, the intervention requires facilitation from the police and response of the police personnel makes a crucial difference for children.
Suman Nalwa, Additional DCP Special juvenile Police unit addressed the gathering and shared her experiences of working with children and on issues of child protection. 

Addressing the gathering, Ms. Nalwa said that recognizing the role of police and need for greater sensitivity in handling matters concerning children, Delhi Police has launched various initiative in an endeavour to build a cadre of child-friendly police and child-friendly police stations across the city. The Juvenile justice system is based on the assumption that children because of their immaturity are less able to control their impulses and understand the seriousness and consequences of their actions. Further, it is poverty, inequality, lack of education and changing values that have left an impression on our young minds. CHILDLINE service makes a major difference to the child protection scenario in the country.
Nicole Menezes, Deputy Director, CIF briefed the audience about the CHILDLINE se dosti campaign and expressed the gratitude to the efforts of the Delhi Police. She also reiterated that CHILDLINE intend to make child protection everybody's concern.

"It crucial to sensitise the police force wherein each and every member of the force aware of the needs of the children and is effective in full implementation of the Juvenile Justice System in its letter and spirit. Delhi Police has come a long way to set an example for the Police through out the country." said Nicole Menezes.

Recognizing this need, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 continues to empower the police to come in contact with both categories of children- children in need of care and protection and juvenile in conflict with law. Within the Juvenile Justice System, the role of the police has been envisaged differently, which includes a child friendly approach, which has been envisaged as someone who is empathetic towards the child and listens and understands his or her problems, she added.

Praveen Nair, Director, Salaam Baalak Trust pointed out that during the year under review, CHILDLINE has intervened directly more than a 2500 cases and has rescued more than 400 children from Child Labour.

Varun Pathak, City Coordinator, CHILDLINE Delhi introduced the Police officers being honoured to the gathering. Representatives from various voluntary organizations were present during the occasion. Children from Shelter Homes and students from colleges across Delhi attended the programme.

The Policemen have always been CHILDLINE Dosts and have played a significant role in protecting the children. The event was an opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the Police as a gesture of CHILDLINE's appreciation for their continued commitment and support. CHILDLINE Delhi honoured 10 police personnel from Delhi and Suman Nalwa, Additional DCP, Delhi Juvenile Justice Police Unit during the occasion. The Participants pledged and showed their solidarity to work for the cause of children and make a difference to the life of exploited children.

NICP workshop gets policemen talking about experiences

Sneha Kupekar, Communication and Strategic Initiatives (CSI) Department

Mumbai, November 12: The National Initiative for Child Protection (NICP) workshop at Nirmala Niketan for sensitising the top officers of the Mumbai police force on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA); saw 50 officers take a day out from their schedule to participate. Resource persons drawn from the law, counseling and medical professions held the interest of the officers as they took them through the basics of the three pillars of Child Protection.

In the words of Ranjeet Chouguley, International Director, Networking and Legal Interventions & Prosecutions, Justice and Care who conducted the Law workshop, "You are the strategisers of the force. We know you do not deal with cases yourself, but through you we are hoping to reach the lower ranks. Together, we can make a world of difference to how children in this country are protected."
Naina Athale, Faculty Member, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) agreed. "There have been times when I conducted workshops that people have walked out saying such things do not happen in our communities. However, I am confident that this will not happen here as all present understand the gravity of the situation before us."

Starting with case studies and the use of art work to put children at ease, Athale helped participants broaden their horizon of what consists of sexual abuse. While many had dealt with cases of abuse, there was low awareness that exhibitionism and digital penetration could also attract punishment under law. The participants were then apprised of Section 294 through which perpetrators of obscene acts such as exhibitionism, songs and expressions in public places can be booked.

On the question of how to judge a case of abuse, Chouguley asked police officers to use only one parameter, "Always think would this be all right if it was my child? If the act is not right for your child then it is not right for anyone's child."

Contrary to the myth in society that only strangers abuse children and abusers are monsters who are immediately identifiable, Athale used research to show that most abuse happens within the family and that 75-80 per cent of abusers have average IQs and only 5-10 per cent are violent. The fact that many abusers employ grooming techniques for the children and often collaborate with law enforcement agencies came as a surprise to many in the audience.

Athale said, "Incest, pedophilia and sadism all come under the umbrella of CSA, though sadism can also be between husband and wife. Many a times I have come across fathers who have said that they felt it was better to teach their children about sexual issues themselves rather than they finding out through someone else. It is at times like these that it becomes clear that children are never responsible for the abuse they suffer and sexual abuse is never an act of love."

The participants also asked for clarity on the common age of consent, since different laws assign different ages for being considered as adults, with most agreeing that the common age should be 18 years. The draft law for CSA which is expected to be tabled in the winter session was also discussed.
Resource persons also stressed on the long term effects of abuse on children and their inability to give exact descriptions of abusers to law enforcement agencies and difficulties in remembering sequence of events.

Chouguley said, "It is important for the police to describe whatever they feel when they first meet the victims, whether the victim was scared, was facing a difficulty in talking etc. because the police play a crucial role in being the eyes and ears of the judge as they are the first people in contact with the victim."
Giving an example of a judge going out of her way to put a victim of abuse at ease, resource persons spoke of Justice Ranjana Desai of the Bombay High Court who created a series of parameters for a case to make the victim comfortable while giving testimony. "The accused was brought in to the back of the court and didn't stand in front of the victim. The advocate representing the accused had to submit the questions in advance which were asked by the judge, thereby freeing the victim from facing an agonizing cross examination," said Chouguley.

He further stressed on the importance of presenting a human face to the police force and changing people's perception that they have nothing to gain from registering a police complaint. "Please make the effort to file cases and book the offenders wherever possible. In most cases of obscene acts, the offender is simply beaten up or allowed to leave after a warning. It's important for fines to be slapped and cases to be filed, because till these acts do not hurt them financially offenders will not learn a lesson," he said to support from many officers.

On the question by a participant whether doctors are duty bound to disclose abuse, Dr. Pawan Sabale, Assistant Professor- Forensic department of Nair hospital said, "Doctors are not duty bound to disclose abuse, due to confidentiality issues. Many a times, the atmosphere in hospitals, the various formalities, curious looks by other patients deter victims from coming to hospitals in the first place."

Dr. Sabale also threw light on the psychological counseling and protocols and procedures followed during the medical examination of children. "Age is determined only after a battery of tests and abuse can be determined through vaginal, cervical smears and oral and rectal smears. It's best to conduct an exam within three days so that there is a high probability of evidence being found."