The much awaited hotline telephone service (1121) to help children exposed to abuse, neglect or any other form of crime, has been made fully functional in all 29 districts of Sindh. Concerned officials talking to APP here Monday said efforts were being made to make hotline telephone service functional, launched by Sindh Child Protection Authority and Social Welfare Department, a toll free arrangement.
The officials said that hotline service, encompassing a constantly operational direct telephone line, to be made possible through active involvement of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Pakistan Telecommunication Company limited (PTCL) and different cellular companies. The process itself was said to be quite time-consuming coupled with confusion among the public in general about the service as till date many of the registered complaints are against power, gas and water supply departments/companies.
To a query, official said complaints related to instances of child neglect, in particular context of street children, are but pouring in from different urban centres of the province. A few cases regarding cases of abuse, mainly physical have also be reported, said the official in reply to a question mentioning that arrangements to provide needed relief to sufferers were also being fine tuned.
“Major focus is on capacity building of the human resource presently at the disposal of the social welfare department,” said the official acknowledging that support of NGOs working for the cause of children and professionals including psychiatrists, counsellors, trainers were also needed for the purpose of child protection and rehabilitation. Citing the task to be gigantic, that also demanded coordination and cooperation at different levels, a senior social welfare officer serving in Benazirabad (Nawabshah) said support of reputable NGOs was urgently needed.
He agreed that measures adopted to promote coordination among different government departments including that of law, police, health, social welfare and education was also needed to be streamlined for the much warranted cause of “Child Protection”. With regard to steady surge in the number of street children, aggravating the menace of child beggary, in Karachi the two senior officers of the department said a strong political will was needed to help address the situation. Public education and improved understanding about the concept related to Child Rights were cited to be critically needed to protect the kids registered to be increasingly exposed to vulnerable circumstances.—APP