In early March this year, CCDT’s Childline program staff received a call about a woman attempting to sell a two-year-old child for INR 2,00,000. Childline staff immediately tracked the case and located the woman and the boy,Yogesh, whom she was trying to sell off. On further enquiry, the team learned that Yogesh and Priya’s mother was HIV positive and had recently passed away due to her illness. She had sent her daughter, Priya and her younger son Yogesh to live with their aunt when she became too ill to look after them. Priya’s aunt had been sending her to work as a domestic helper to earn additional income and had left her in charge of her younger brother’s care.
“Yogesh was very weak, I saw Priya serving him stale milk that was two-days old. Being a child herself, Priya was too small to take care of her younger brother. Yogesh had a bad skin infection but his aunt refused to take him to the doctor for treatment. In such a case of severe neglect, we had to act and bring the case to the notice of the police and Child Welfare Committee”
— Suchitra, Childline Team Member
On learning of these details, Childline’s team members reported the case to police, but because Priya was unwilling to leave her aunt’s house, the police weren’t able to intervene. So the team went one step further and reported this case to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). They discovered that Priya’s aunt was about to sell her off for additional money and the CWC immediately rehabilitated both Priya and her brother Yogesh into St. Catherine home. Childline’s team members helped Priya to get an affidavit for admission into school and Priya is now studying in grade five.
Like Priya and Yogesh, Childline has rescued and provided care and protection to 3,495 children.
Childline 1098 is always there for vulnerable children 24/7. It is India’s first 24-hour, free, emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance. Childline responds to the emergency calls and links them to services for their long-term care and rehabilitation. The special focus is on all the children in need of care and protection. Childline also functions as a center for awareness, advocacy, and training on issues related to child protection. It is a project supported by Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.