Motivate child to talk in case of ‘silent calls’, WCD to Childline

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The Women and Child Development Ministry has asked the national emergency helpline for children to motivate and counsel them in case of “muted calls” — where they are not able to gather courage to report incidents of abuse, a WCD official has said. The Childline Foundation recently reported that one-third of the calls received by it were “silent or muted”.

“We have asked childline to counsel such children and encourage them to talk. Many a times a child is scared to talk or has last minute doubts about filing a complaint against a close relative,” a WCD official said.

The Childline Foundation has received 3.4 crore calls since 2015. Of these, one crore were silent, according to official data. A muted call could be a silent call for help where the child is not able to gather courage to talk or having second thoughts over reporting the incident, an official working with Childline had said earlier.

According to the official data, there are 450 childline contact centres across the country which received 6.6 lakh complaints of abuse. In 2017-18 alone, over 80,000 complaints of abuse were received through Childline and over 31,000 calls were related to information regarding missing children.

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Official data showed that Childline received about 1.4 crore calls in 2017-18 (till June 30) and on an average 10 lakh calls are received every month.